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A Week After Apple's Fix, Flashback Still Infects Half a Million Macs 161

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Security firm Dr. Web released new statistics Friday showing that the process of eliminating Flashback from Macs is proceeding far slower than expected: On Friday the security firm, which first spotted the Mac botnet earlier this month, released new data showing that 610,000 active infected machines were counted Wednesday and 566,000 were counted Thursday. That's a slim decrease from the peak of 650,000 to 700,000 machines infected with the malware when Apple released its cleanup tool for the trojan late last week. Earlier in the week, Symantec reported that only 140,000 machines remained infected, but admitted Friday that an error in its measurement caused it to underestimate the remaining infections, and it now agrees with Dr. Web's much more pessimistic numbers."
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A Week After Apple's Fix, Flashback Still Infects Half a Million Macs

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  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:16PM (#39752509) Homepage

    > ... and yet I find it hilarious when I read all the angry rants on and here on how poor old XP is going to lose support in 2 years a mere 13.5 years after launch.

    When is the last time a new PC was sold with some version of XP installed by the hardware vendor?

    THAT is your starting point for "support", not when the first version was originally released.

  • Re:Well clearly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#39752539) Journal

    With the number of machines that remain, it seems clear also that Mac users aren't using auto updates. What's up with that?

    You're surprised that users dont install updates? Or choose to skip updates when they are offered? You must be new here... (and by here, I mean, anywhere) This is hardly a problem that is unique to mac users or even ignorant users.

  • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:27PM (#39752575) Journal

    I understand Apple losses money to support users but something should be done. If not after a few billion lost dollars in bank accounts will create some nasty lawsuits.

    Apple has been getting more serious about security for awhile (in comparison to, "we're unix, we're ok"). Sandbox, gatekeeper, removal of automatic execution, malware removal tool, etc. They need to gt a LOT better in how they respond though.

    Apple clearly understands support in general though. They routinely get excellent marks on their support. See the genius bars as an example. I personally have had out of warranty macs repaired for free. My sister had an out of warranty Macbook case top replaced when it chipped. And so forth. Support is one of the big reasons to buy an Apple, imho.

  • by toxygen01 ( 901511 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:50PM (#39752711) Journal
    That's right. However, according to Adium developers' statistics [1], only 13% of OS X users run 10.5 and 3.33% run 10.4. If you do the math and calculate probability with which someone can get infected, you will reach, I believe, very low numbers. 10.5 being apple's equivalent of vista, is dying every day and will be lost in the dust soon.

    [1] []
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:55PM (#39752751) Journal

    Windows and even IE has been getting harder and harder to crack in after the laughing bad issue with XP pre SP1 and IE 6. Windows 7 has ASLR, DEP with all services, special VC2010 exception checking at runtime executable support, and sanboxing. Windows 8 and IE 10 have 2 sandboxes to get an exploit pass.

    Ask any enterprise who migrated from XP to Windows 7 and they all say a drop in malware and virus infections is the first thing they notice.

    Maybe MacOSX is an easier target?

    The fact that most MacOSX users do not run anti virus software is also troubling. I say its essential now as a good one will look at behaviors and sandbox critical files and processes. Avast has a beta for MacOSX already if you hate Norton.

  • Re:Well clearly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:33PM (#39752957)

    No, most of them are talking about being utterly immune. And they were always wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:06PM (#39753141)

    UNIX has been where grown-ups go to compute for the last 40 years, where have you been?

  • by loosescrews ( 1916996 ) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @03:04AM (#39754231)

    There actually was an article on Slashdot that had a link to the information you mentioned. It said how to check to see if you were infected and told how to remove it. By asking why something something that was posted wasn't posted, you are doing little to improve our collective opinion of Mac users.

  • Re:Well clearly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @05:17AM (#39754589)

    The updates are only available for Snow Leopard and Lion. If you're on Leopard (10.5) (still sold up until summer 2009) or older, you don't get the security patches OR the latest fixes to remove infection. Apple only support current and previous OS versions for security. Once Mountain Lion comes out in a couple of months, anyone who's running an OS older than october 2010 goes under the bus. Note, they're still selling snow leopard right now, as you need to install it first to go to lion - you can't jump from leopard to lion direct, as leopard don't have the app store needed. You can of course download and make a USB clean installer from an existing lion Mac, but if you've only got one physical machine and no-one can help you make an install, leopard -> snow leopard -> lion it is (pre-made lion install usb keys not available here)

    We criticise microsoft for ending support for XP after 13 years, and Apple drops all support after TWO and get a pass? Something like 25% of mac users are using Leopard or older - not least due the removal of PPC support in snow leopard. Mountain Lion looks pretty pointless unless you're also an icloud user, and the steady of killing off of carbon library support in Lion and Mountain Lion means you may have to stick to snow leopard if a key app doesn't run on Lion yet - and you'll be in the same boat as Leopard users right now, running an 'obsolete' unsupported OS with no security patches that's still for sale right now!

    Now apple are switching to an annual OSX release, they REALLY need to still support older OSes - such as the soon to be EOL'd snow leopard - longer than they do for critical security patches, such as this one. Apple decided they wanted to control java installation on OSX, they should have the decency to get security patches out for it in a prompt timescale. Don't forget, the whole reason this happened is Apple sat on upstream java security patches for months for even current OSX users - if they'd pushed out the patches THEN, instead of waiting for half a million + users to get infected...

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas