By now, just about every Mac user is aware of the Flashback malware threat that’s been infecting hundreds of thousands of computers everywhere. When Apple released a little fix for it earlier this month, they didn’t exactly come out and say hey – there’s a huge Mac virus going around that can steal your passwords! Here’s our attempt at fixing it… Instead, they chose to further investigate the issue – with good reason.
The fix wasn’t a means of removing the virus if you’d already contracted it, but rather a solution to prevent it from being installed in the first place. For the folks who already had it though, there was really no good way to remove Flashback – or even to be sure they had it, for that matter.
Apple’s removal tool searches your drive for pretty much every variation of the malware in circulation, lets you know if you have it, and finally, removes any and all threats. Pretty straightforward.
Flashback was a big eye-opener for a ton of people who were positive that there was no way whatsoever to get a virus on their Mac. That was partially true quite some time ago – but the growing popularity that Apple products have been showing, like anything, sparked an interested in cynical bastards who just want to ruin everyone’s day.
I was already getting a little concerned when I heard that Mountain Lion will be shipping with an integrated virus protection program, Gatekeeper. I knew there was always the risk of getting scareware and other annoying but not-so-serious malwares. But when Apple makes such a bold move as shipping its OS with a Windows style virus scanner, you know things are getting a little more serious.
If you’re worried that you might have picked up the Flashback spyware, make sure to head over to Apple.com and grab a copy of the Flashback Malware Removal Tool.