Mac OS X security update!

In March 2012 around 700,000 computers became infected with the Flashback virus worldwide.  Aside from the high rate of infection in North America  what made this virus interesting was that it was targeting Mac OS X.  Much like malware that Windows users will be familiar with- Flashback commits your machine to a larger malicious bot-net.  Hackers can use this to intercept search engine traffic, or upload more malicious code to your computer.

Security blogs like the Kaspersky Lab suggest that From September 2011 to Feb 2012 users on social media sites were prompted to download a fake flash player update, a file called “FlashPlayer-11-macos.pkg”, “AdobeFlashUpdate.pkg”, etc.  In March the scope of the attacks widened to include collaboration with Russian cyber criminals who compromised thousands of WordPress blogs with a hidden redirect to a rr.nu domain containing malicious code.   The virus silently downloads and injects itself onto every launched application and every browser session conveniently exploiting every action on the infected computer.

Apple finally released a patch this month to address this java exploit get it now if you haven’t already! try and remember to update your antivirus and keep useful open source programs like Hijack This that can help you remove malware without necessarily needing to completely reformat your machine, but remember these programs are only useful on your computer before infection- you will likely be barred from installing them by the virus if it has had a chance to install itself.

Being prepared for these security breaches shouldn’t be exclusively bound to your OS, so make sure to keep up with the latest in tech security news and keep up to date  with all of your OS and Browser manufacturers patches and security blogs.  Never let anyone tell you that it is impossible to prevent downloading a virus, usually the key is surprisingly just a lot of common sense.

-Stefan Avlijas @ XiiTec Vancouver