Apple today has made good on its promise to release its own tool that detects and removes any instances of the Flashback malware on Mac systems running Java. The tool is only available for systems running OS X 10.6 or later, and is bundled with a slightly updated version of the most recent Java runtime, but is a separate component that is installed and runs on its own.
After the Flashback malware was found to be exploiting Mac systems via security holes in Java, one recommendation was for Mac users to disable Java if they do not use it, either in the Web browser or more globally using the Java Preferences utility.
OS X has historically come with Java pre-installed, but even though it is optional in the latest version (OS X Lion), unfortunately once installed on a system there is no official way to uninstall it. The only options that Apple provides are to manage Java preferences on a per-user basis to prevent the Java runtime from … Read more
Apple this afternoon released an integrated tool to remove Flashback, malware designed to steal user information that was estimated to be present in more than half a million machines just last week.
The tool, which was made available as part of a security update to Java today, comes two days after Apple said it was working on an automated way for users to remove the infection.
Flashback is a form of malware designed to grab passwords and other information from users through their Web browser and other applications. A user typically mistakes it for a legitimate browser plug-in while visiting … Read more
To help tackle the recent Flashback malware threat, Apple released a couple of updates for the Java runtime in OS X to bring it up to the latest Java release (version 1.6.0_31), which patches the vulnerability being exploited.
The updates are available for OS X 10.6 and 10.7 systems that have Java installed; you can update your system by using the Software Update utility in the Apple menu. However, so far there have been no updates to patch older versions of OS X such as Tiger and Leopard, which come with Java runtimes installed and therefore … Read more
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week, you've probably heard about Flashback, a piece of malware targeting users of Apple's Mac OS X that's now estimated to be quietly running on more than 600,000 machines around the world.
That number, which came from Russian antivirus company Dr. Web earlier this week, was confirmed today by security firm Kaspersky. More than 98 percent of the affected computers were running Mac OS X, the firm said.
That's certainly a big number, but how does it stack up to past threats?
"It'… Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week people wrote in with questions on how the Java vulnerabilities and Flashback malware seen on OS X might affect Linux systems and older versions of OS X, how to set up Time Machine to work with networked volumes, and the options for showing invisible characters when composing word processing documents in OS X. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers, so if you have any suggestions, post them in the comments!
Question: Setting up Time Machine on any networked volume MacFixIt reader … Read more
Apple still appears to be fighting the Flashback malware that was recently found to have infected more than a half-million Mac computers.
A second Java update has been released for Mac users, according to Mac security blog Intego.
No details are available as to why this latest update was released. Intego speculates that perhaps there was a small glitch in the first update. This latest update also seems geared just for the Lion version of Mac OS X, while the initial patch was designed for both Snow Leopard and Lion.
Some confusion also exists over the name, Intego noted. The … Read more
Following the recent Flashback malware developments for OS X where unpatched vulnerabilities in the latest Java runtime for OS X were being exploited, Apple has issued an update that brings Java up-to-date and patches these vulnerabilities.
The patch is available via Software Update for systems that have Java installed, but can also be downloaded from the following Apple support Web pages. The update is available only for OS X 10.6 and 10.7, since Apple has stopped supporting prior versions of OS X.Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 7 Java for OS X Lion 2012-001
These … Read more
There's some concern over the use of Java in OS X following a recent finding that Flashback malware variants are now taking advantage of currently unpatched vulnerabilities in the Java runtime.
Even though this malware development should not affect the majority of Mac users running OS X 10.7 or later since Apple no longer includes Java with the OS, some people may nonetheless be wondering what the Java runtime is, and how they can go about checking for and removing it from their systems to ensure they are safe.
What is Java? The essence of Java is its … Read more
Many developers are ready to dump Flash in favor of Web standards -- and for those who aren't ready, Adobe Systems is throwing its weight behind a new project called CreateJS to ease the transition.