Apr 132012
 

The cats out of the bag. Its official, your Mac can get a virus! Some months ago a exploit was found and its causing a big stir. Often Apple has been regarded as one of the virus-free OS. Unfortunately, its not so simple but up till now there haven’t been compelling reasons to worry. As for the recent flashback exploit, it looks like a clear recovery path is in sight. Although, it took Apple 3 months and over 500,000 infections. Apple has finally released a partial update. Also, there are third party removal tools. I say partial update because the update only works for OSX 10.6 and higher. Thats Snow Leopard and Lion for those who don’t like version numbers. If you haven’t already, go ahead and run your software updates. Be sure to run the updates until it says you have no available updates. If you have Java this update will patch the vulnerabilities. If your computer doesn’t have Java installed, run this Apple flashback removal tool to protect against non Java based exploits.

You can also use f-secure’s removal utility. This is particularly important for those running pre 10.6. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if this tool doesn’t work or you would like assistance. If you don’t feel confident don’t risk it. Don’t forget this removal tool is not in lieu of software updates.

No matter which version of Mac you run, we recommend you be proactive with your systems defense against future attacks. Unfortunately there is no “silver bullet” and the anti-virus products out there are often no better than the nasty code they supposedly protect you from.

Here are the major points of prevention that you can follow to protect your computer and the networks that it accesses.

1. Keep your system up-to-date. Even though Apple might be slow to respond to exploits like flashback, they are constantly releasing security updates. This is very important to run periodically.

 

 

2. Keep your browser up-to-date. https://www.mozilla.org, https://www.google.com/chrome and use the “software update”, mentioned above, for Safari.

3. Use OpenDNS as your domain name server. This is a little more technical to implement but doesn’t require the install of any software on your computer. It is a quick change that is made to your network. This change will protect all computers on the network against certain malware such as flashback, phishing, and botnets calling home. Contact us about setting this up on your networks.

4. Lastly, its probably time to install some form of antivirus software. Some of the major AV companies have software products for Mac. We haven’t found one that we like, leave a comment if you use one that is great.
There is a open source project with scanning and real-time protection for Apple OSX . If your interested in using it go to www.clamxav.com. It is free of charge and is supported by donation. Oddly, ClamXav isn’t released under any particular license but the real guts of it use the popular toolkit ClamAV, which is a GPL licensed free software.

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