Flashback Still A Problem For Mac Security

Flashback malware is still a security threat for Macs.

Here’s one for the “no news is good news” file. Initial reports that Flashback malware attacks against Macs were in decline may have been based on a mistake caused by calculation errors, according to a recent CNET article.

Flashback is a type of malware that attempts to gather private information like passwords. It uses browsers and other web-based applications to target Mac users. As many as 600,000 Macs were infected before Apple issued a security update to address the issue, according to estimates cited by CNET.

Initial reports said the infection rate has declined since the first spike of infections, but CNET said you better not breathe a sigh of relief quite yet. Potential errors in malware rate calculations may be leading to numbers more conservative than reality.

In fact, Apple’s security update was released for OS X 10.6 or higher, which means users on older systems may still be vulnerable to Flashback! Be careful of being lured into a false sense of security, because malware can sneak in through old vulnerabilities if you don’t keep your Mac and the software on it updated. It’s also important to implement layered security, which is simply using multiple tools, such as firewalls and malware scanners, to fully secure your machine.

And the bad news goes deeper, as the security update problem may only get worse, according to a recent MacWorld UK article. The article warns that Apple will likely stop supporting Mac OS 10.6 when it launches OS X 10.8. This trend follows Apple’s tendency to only support its current OS and the one that came directly before it.

The lack of support for OS 10.6 presents a unique problem, as it will leave 48.4 percent of all systems currently in use without security updates, according to statistics released by web metrics company Net Applications.

Computer security is a pressing issue in today’s world, where cyberthreats are on the rise. How do you feel about being left in the dark if support is pulled from OS X 10.6 and earlier versions?

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.