Patch Your Mac

A Trojan horse called “Flashback” has recently been infecting Macs that are running unpatched versions of Java. Over 600,000 Macs worldwide are estimated to be infected, which is between 1 and 2 percent of all Macs in existence. We’ve already seen dozens of infected systems at Emory. It's possible to be infected simply by visiting a legitimate website with malicious embedded advertising. In fact, since Flashback was released, even more malware targeted at Mac users has been released using the same Java vulnerability.

Apple has released a fix for Java.  It is vitally important that you apply this patch to your Mac as soon as possible if you have not done so already.  You can apply the patch by clicking on the Apple menu and choosing “Software Update”.  Apple has also released a removal tool for the Flashback malware that you can download and install via Software Update as well.

Note that if you’re computer runs “Leopard” (Mac OS 10.5) there is no Java patch available as this version of OS X is no longer supported by Apple. We recommend that you disable Java if you have Leopard on your system. Instructions for doing this can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5241

In addition to Apple’s removal tool, several antivirus companies have released removal tools to help people with infected Macs remove Flashback. Links to two of these tools is below. 

http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002346.html

http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/virus/2012/Kaspersky_Lab_Offers_Kaspersky_Flashback_Removal_Tool 

If you need help, Student Technology Services is available free of charge at the Cox Hall Computing Center:

http://cox.emory.edu/student_technology_support/index.html

Now is also a good time to be sure that your Mac has current antivirus software installed. Flashback is evidence that Macs need antivirus software as well. You can download Symantec Endpoint Protection for Mac from Emory Software Express:

 https://software.emory.edu/express/