Flashback is a new trojan virus that automatically infects Mac OS X when users visit certain websites. It is one of the first signs that hackers and creators of malware are starting to pay attention to the growing market share of Mac users. Most (myself included) don’t even bother getting an anti-virus program because infections on a Mac have historically been pretty rare. Vulnerabilities in OS X and especially Safari, however, have been around long enough for hackers to start to taking note of a new niche market with a user base relatively unaccustomed to the concept of malware.
That’s why it’s a good idea to understand how some of these malware programs actually work. It’ll help you to be more vigilant about protecting yourself, your data and your identity.
Most malware is designed to generate monetary profit for someone. Whether it’s some script kiddie in nigeria or a group of hackers, the objective behind most malware falls into one of these categories:
Stolen data most often leads to identity fraud and/or blackmail. Browser traffic re-direction generate clicks on websites that pay hackers. Some infected systems become BOTS (like controllable zombie computers) that hackers can use to send SPAM or perform DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
The best way to protect yourself from any of the above is to take a few precautions. Here are some computing activities to generally avoid (even on a Mac):
If you feel that your computer may have been infected or compromised, there’s a free check tool Liferhacker found here. The Flashback virus will not execute it’s payload if it finds any of the following programs installed on your Mac…so it’s a good idea to get one of these on your Mac either way:
Hope it helps.