Users of Apple's Mac computers like to brag that viruses pose no threat to their machines, while Windows PC's are prone to a constant barrage of malware.
However, security researchers have discovered a new, large scale virus attack that has hit the users of the Mac OS X operating system. The virus has infected more than half a million Mac users globally, with about half of them in the U.S.
Apple Mac has fallen prey to hackers with the new Flashback Trojan Virus that hijacks the Mac OS and provides unauthorized access to the victim's computer. This is said to be the largest scale attack on Mac OS X to date and much more sophisticated.
The virus does not need the user to manually click on any malicious links or manually download any malware to get infected. It just downloads itself and then provides the malware creators access to the computer, who can then choose to use infected computers as they like.
The malware creators are said to be using a bug in Java, a popular programming language for making webpages, to get a Java-applet containing the Trojan automatically downloaded. Meanwhile, Apple reportedly issued two security patches that can be downloaded by users to fix the flaw in Java.
According to reports, the malware has already infected about 550,000 computers running the Mac OS X, with about 303,000 of them being in the U.S., about 106,000 in Canada, about 69,000 in the U.K., and about 33,000 in Australia.
The Trojan is known as BackDoor.Flashback.39 and is of the OS X malware family that modifies the content displayed by web browsers to get itself automatically downloaded by redirecting the user to bogus websites that spread the virus.
This is not the first time the Mac users have been attacked by a Windows-like computer virus. However, the attacks have been very few due to the lower percentage of Mac users. Last year, Mac users confronted a malware called Mac Defender, which was identified by virus security firm Intego in May 2011.
by RTT Staff Writer
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