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Significant Number of Snow Leopard-running Macs Infected with Flashback

The recent attack on Macs by Flashback, infected devices of which almost 66% were loaded with OS X 10.6 more familiarly called Snow Leopard, reports Dr. Web the anti-virus company from Russia.

The different Mac operating systems have one distinguishing factor and that's about whether they've Java pre-installed or not. Of those Mac operating systems with Java already loaded, Snow Leopard is last among the classification. Conversely, a later Mac OS X namely Lion version 10.7 isn't pre-installed with Java. Both Snow Leopard and Lion represent 40%-or-less of the Total Mac OS X base individually. Specifically, Lion's share in all OS X devices represent 39.6%, suggests Net Applications data, the company specializing in market-share measurements. However, the percentage of Lion-installed Macs infected with Flashback in comparison with that of Snow Leopard is merely 11.2%.

Sources indicate that during March 2012, the biggest number of the operating system generated for Macs was Snow Leopard, with Flashback infecting the OS X 10.5 as the second highest in all Snow Leopard versions. Among a total 95,000 Mac devices infected with the Flashback, 25.5% had the said 2007 version.

The infection percentages of Snow Leopard (all versions) are greater when compared to the rates of the OSs' adoption; however, for Lion (OS X 10.7), it's just the opposite: the proportions are 66% to 40% and 11.2% to 39.6%.

The Java pre-installed Mac OS X, version 10.4 and older reportedly have no means by which they can block the default software within Java Preferences functionality, although such blockage is possible via the Web-browser. The mechanism lets local Java software as active although not the Web-oriented applets.

The Flashback, which infects Macs, steals and dispatches users' sensitive data onto the Trojan controllers' C&C server thus exposing victims' bank accounts to crime. Alternatively, the infected Mac gets included into the Flashback botnet, looking for Twitter accounts for contaminating additional PCs.

To eradicate Flashback, the primary requirement is for Apple to take Mac end-users to the company's own Java (newest version). For Mac users with the Intel, the downloading and upgrading to Snow Leopard, at least, will help in deploying the most recently-updated Java.

Related article: Significant Rise in Cyber Threats are Expected in 2008

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