Mac trojan affects at least 600,000 systems


— 9:45 AM on April 5, 2012

Macs aren't vulnerable to all of those pesky Windows viruses; so goes popular wisdom. That's true, of course, but the latest epidemic shows Mac users definitely aren't immune from malware altogether. Ars Technica reports that at least 600,000 Macs are in the throes of a nasty Java trojan infestation.

Russian security firm Dr Web first broke the news yesterday, revealing some details about the trojan. It explained, "Systems get infected with BackDoor.Flashback.39 after a user is redirected to a bogus site from a compromised resource or via a traffic distribution system. JavaScript code is used to load a Java-applet containing an exploit." An epidemiology map put together by the firm shows most affected systems are in the English-speaking world, with the United States and Canada commanding the lion's share of cases.

Mac users aren't helpless, thankfully. Ars points out that Apple has sent out a fix through Software Update, its automatic system updates scheme. Also, security firm F-secure offers instructions so that Mac users can check if they're infected—and get rid of the trojan if they are.

Still, this is a sobering reminder that, ad campaigns and slogans aside, OS X users aren't getting a free ride as far as malware is concerned.

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