/// What’s This? A Mac Virus? No, Actually It’s a Weakness in Java.

April 6, 2012  |  All Things Digital

When a computer incident happens on Apple’s Mac OS X, it’s a headline-making event. When it happens on Windows, it’s just another day. That remains the reality, even after a bunch of media reports on how a vulnerability in Java has led to the creation of a Mac botnet about 600,000 strong. Today I’ve been getting calls from people who say something roughly in line with the following: “I thought you said Macs didn’t get viruses? What about this?” No, I explain, I never said Macs will never get viruses or other Malware. But historically its record versus other platforms compares favorably. As is the case with investment instruments, past results are no guarantee of future performance, and let’s face it, there’s no such thing as a perfectly secured computing platform. But let’s look closely at the facts around the Flashback Trojan causing all this consternation, and clear up what it is versus what it is not, and put the results of the incident in perspective. Yes it’s true that some 600,000 Macs are confirmed to have been infected. The claim, first made by Dr. Web , an outfit I had never heard of, has since been corroborated by Kaspersky Labs , whose research and analysis capabilities are well-respected. More than half of the compromised machines are in the U.S., 95,000 in Canada, 47,000 in the U.K., and 41,000 in Australia. The trojan targets a vulnerability in software that is not even an Apple product: Java. You’ll recall that Java is add-on software created by Sun Microsystems and now the property of the software giant Oracle

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What’s This? A Mac Virus? No, Actually It’s a Weakness in Java.

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