back to article Mac security update leaves users open to ugly Flashback

Apple has updated the malware protection built into its Mac operating system to flag a recently discovered trojan that hijacks users' machines by masquerading as a benign document. Malware disguised as an Adobe Flash installer, meanwhile, remained unchecked. The file quarantine, which Apple snuck into a prerelease version of …


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  1. Dodgy Dave
    Thumb Up

    Prizes awarded ...

    ...for best "Malware disguised as an Adobe Flash installer" punchline. Let 'em roll.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Adobe file lawsuit against the authors, alleging that the code contained is an obvious copy of theirs?

    2. deains

      Apple approves malware disguised as Flash for sale in its App Store, citing it as a "reasonable alternative to the Adobe product".

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      I'd call it "raincoat". Flash away..

  2. Ilgaz

    Adobe guys, see?

    Trojan shows how your flash installer should have been on os x and windows. No Bangalore "cool" fashion junk, just plain system native installer.

    On Flash 11, we wait for some techno music with Flashing lights, go for it!

  3. Steve Renouf

    Ha ha ha ha...

    In other news - the security by obscurity myth is finally blown out of the water...

    1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      Not so sure about that...

      Mac's are pretty much mainstream these days. Though obscure systems like BeOS are more or less malware free.

      1. Captain Scarlet


        Yes but is it usable for any of todays applications?

        Much like saying MacOS9 (Ugh the reason I don't touch anything with an apple logo) is more or less malware free

  4. Neil Alexander

    Fairly good reason to not install Flash!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And yet ...

    ... sales pitches for macs here seemingly still include the "can't get a virus" lie/rant. Obscurity indeed. Oh, hold on I'm being distracted by the aggressive advertisement of MacBooks on my TV ....

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up

      Bosh! You win!

      First call for incorrectly calling it a virus!

      It's malware/trojan and there is no protection on any O/S against the will of the weakest link, the fleshy thing on the keyboard.

    2. Sean Baggaley 1

      Clearly you don't know the difference between...

      ... a virus and a trojan.

      Hint: NOTHING can protect against the latter.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This story to be continued

    .......for ever!

  7. David Beeston

    Requires admin confirmation

    This isn't really a windows vs mac debate. Mac OS X is identifying it as an application requiring admin details and asking the admin to confirm. I'd expect Windows to do the same. That's all I expect of an OS, to flag when something is attempting to install and prompt if escalated privileges are required. It's up to the admin to asses whether its legitimate or not. Anyone infected = user error (or admin error).

    No one thinks Mac's are invulnerable - certainly I don't, but they are just less prone to non-user error type malware - in my experience.

    1. Gil

      I think the difference between Microsoft and Apple here is that Microsoft weren't the ones to create a condescending "I'm a PC" commercial insinuating that their operating system was virus free...

      With the amount of braindead Apple fans who claim that Apple Virus / Malware is an oxymoron, that 30 second spot could turn out to be some of history's most damaging tech-related FUD.

  8. Benchops

    If Steve Jobs was still in charge...

    they'd fix it by disabling anything claiming to be a Flash installer

  9. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    It yet again proves my points about Mac virus resistance

    1 - it may be virus resistant, but unless you upgrade the users, no platform is trojan proof.

    2 - I don't believe statements, I want proof. I run Kaspersky every so often..

    (and 3 - I still only spend about 3% of the time I used to spend on Windows keeping the machine, safe and patched. But that's just detail, right? It's not like your time is worth anything..).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The handle certainly fits... perfectly

  10. Norman Bowring

    I installed an updated Flash last week and the only difference I saw was that the operating temperature rose from 60 - 62 degrees celsius right up to 75 - 80 degrees.

    The only way to have the temp drop down again was to de-install

    Does anyone have any idea on what happened here and how to get around the problem?

  11. Danny 5

    but i thought

    That the Mac was immune to viri? wasn't it the PC that was riddled with them?

    hmmm, perhaps this should be seen as a compliment, now macs matter enough to have viri written for them.

    1. deains


      "viri" is not a word. Although at least you didn't use "virii", which is less of a word and more of a five-character facepalm.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A security exploit that doesn't affect Winblows. That's a rare occurrence!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      You'll have missed the other article showing that actually most targetted vulns are in Flash, PDF or Java these days then?

      Once you take IE out of the equation Windows does quite well, especially given the rich rewards and vast selection of low-hanging fruit users on offer for pwning it.

      At the end of the day, it's the altitude of the fruit on offer that is important. Pwning the machine of a savvy owner is a waste of time. They'll just spot something's up and fix it / get it fixed. Also snaffling their gmail password isn't anywhere near as likely to get you into their bank account....

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