Apple Releases Flashback Update For Leopard OS

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Older Mac operating systems receive a security update covering the Flashback malware

Apple is continuing its belated attempts to control the Flashback malware by releasing a patch for Leopard OS.

The Cupertino-based company, which was criticised for its delayed reaction to the malware, has already patched the newer Snow Leopard and Lion operating systems but is now paying some attention to older versions.

Flashback in time

“The update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware,” said Apple. “If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will notify you that malware was removed. In some cases, the update may need to restart your computer in order to completely remove the Flashback malware.”

The patch also disables versions of Adobe Flash player that do not include the latest security updates and instructs users to upgrade to the newest version.

Flashback targets a vulnerability in Java, but Macs were particularly susceptible because Apple didn’t patch the loophole for several weeks after it was discovered. It was believed that 600,000 Mac machines were infected at the peak of the epidemic, and despite a number of updates, it was reported that 140,000 computers still harboured the infection last month.

The malware allowed cybercriminals to hijack Google search queries to earn more than $10,000 a day, although it has been noted that users of other older operating systems such as Tiger OS are still not protected.

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