Flashback Mac Trojan Is Back, With A Vengeance [News]

Matt Smith 25-02-2012

Flashback Mac Trojan Is Back, With A Vengeance [News] flashbackthumbLock up your Pros and hide your Airs, because it turns out that one of the more notorious Mac trojans is back in action. Known as Flashback, this trojan was found to be in action about five months ago New Trojan For Mac Disables XProtect Auto Update [News] A Trojan recently made the rounds for Mac that appeared to be an update for Flash, but was actually a piece of malicious software called Flashback.A. Apple has since updated XProtect to block this dangerous... Read More , disguising itself as a new Flash Player for Mac. It was soon identified by security researchers and the alert was raised, but now it’s back and trying not one but three different tactics to install itself on a user’s Mac.


First up is a pair of Java vulnerabilities. If those are already patched, then the trojan tries to find vulnerability in the user instead. It displays a digital signature supposedly belonging to Apple and asks for access to your computer. There are a few things fishy about this, but the average user is unlikely to pick up on them. Many people, especially if tired or distracted, could easily click “Continue” without realising.

Flashback Mac Trojan Is Back, With A Vengeance [News] flashbackg

If successfully installed, Flashback goes back to its old tricks of looking for usernames and passwords. It specifically targets banking websites, no doubt seeking information useful for identity theft.

Now, let’s talk about the good news. This version of Flashback purposely attempts to avoid systems that have an anti-virus installed, so the mere presence of security software The Top 3 Security Apps To Protect Your Mac Read More is a boon. In addition, the method used by this trojan to intercept and report passwords will cause some software that requires network access, such as Skype, to crash. This can give you the heads-up.

Source: Intego Mac Security Blog


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  1. Rahime
    March 24, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Premature publicity is bteter than no publicityI guess. Maybe. At any rate, my latest secret project, is no longer secret: Phoronix ran an article about Wayland and slashdot in turn picked it up. They got the headline wrong, though, it's not a new X server, it's a tiny display server + compositing manager. And it's a very young project with a lot of FIXMEs and hand waving.The core idea is that all windows are redirected, we can do all rendering client side and pass a buffer handle to the server and the compositing manager runs in the display server. One of the goals is to get an X server running on Wayland, first in a full screen window (like Xnest), then rootless, since X just isn't going aways anytime soon. Many more details in the NOTES file of the project.

  2. Midge
    March 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

    @ubuntuBbetter - I'd be more impressed if you could actually spell.
    I think you'll find most Mac users can :-)

  3. ubuntuBbetter
    March 3, 2012 at 5:07 am

    good riddens
    damn stupid smug no good mac users

    • Spycedham
      March 4, 2012 at 6:34 am

      It makes me laugh how butt hurt PC users get just because someone chooses to use a more reliable computer.  Take that anger out on some zombies. ;)

  4. crescentdave
    February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

    anybody have suggestions on favored AV software?

    • Guest
      February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

       Eset Nod32 or Sophos are good AV's for a Mac.

  5. Dom
    February 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Forwarding this to my parents in the hope that they will now agree to install an anti-virus

  6. datasmog
    February 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    No sensible mac user will claim their machine is immune from any infection. What they can legitimately claim is that there is virtually no malware, trojans or viruses likely to attack a Mac.
    Flashback is not new, and can't be installed without the user first giving permission. It's not a drive by infection.

    • M.S. Smith
      February 27, 2012 at 12:23 am

      My understanding is that an exploit of the java vulnerabilities would not require user action to be successful. Am I wrong?

      • kenski
        February 27, 2012 at 3:34 am

        No your not wrong but it would depend on which version of OS X your running. Java is not installed by default on Lion, on Snow Leopard and older it is.

  7. Dave Parrack
    February 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Hopefully this will put paid to the constant myth that Macs are immune from malware.