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Apple issues Flashback fix

Recommended for all Mac users with Java installed
Fri Apr 13 2012, 09:58

WALLED GARDEN SOFTWARE HOUSE Apple has released a software patch to protect its Mac users from the recently infamous Flashback Trojan.

The Flashback malware exploits a Java vulnerability to hijack Mac computers into a botnet that could be as large as 700,000 machines, though this number fluctuates.

A number of security firms, including F-Secure and Kaspersky Lab have released fixes for concerned users, and now Apple has come up with its own patch.

"This Java security update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware," says Apple's summary that introduces the two-step threat mitigation process.

"This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets."

Apple says the update is recommended for all Mac users with Java installed.

Earlier this week Apple issued its first fix for the problem, and at that time it also said that it was working with internet service providers on a clean up effort.

Oracle, which took over Java when it bought Sun, issued its own fix for the Java vulnerability in February. Apple took its time to release an update for its Java users, meaning that hackers had plenty of time to exploit it.

According to security firm Symantec the number of Flashback botnet infections has dramatically dropped off in the last couple of weeks, and now could be as low as 250,000 machines. µ


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