After promoting a set of Terminal commands to manually remove the Flashback Trojan, software security vendor F-Secure has released a Flashback Removal Tool that automates the detection and removal of the widespread Flashback Mac OS X malware.
Mac users fearing that they might have contracted the malware that reportedly infected roughly 700,000 Macs worldwide are encouraged to….:
1) Download FlashbackRemoval.zip to the Mac machine you want to scan;
2) Double-click the zip package to unzip it in the current folder;
3) Double-click the FlashBack Removal app to run the tool;
4) Follow the instructions to check your system and clean any infections.
F-Secure was the first to provide a comprehensive set of instructions for manually removing the newest version (at that time) of the Flashback Trojan.
The security vendor is now dedicated to helping every Mac user stay out of harm’s way. To be noted that security vendors Kaspersky and Intego have both released similar Flashback detection/removal tools.
F-Secure’s app in particular creates a log file (RemoveFlashback.log) on the user’s Desktop and, “if any infections are found, they are quarantined into an encrypted ZIP file (flashback_quarantine.zip) to the current user’s Home folder. The ZIP is encrypted with the password 'infected',” says F-Secure.
The firm seems eager to acknowledge that Apple has failed to produce such a tool for its customers, and for good reason too.
“Quite surprisingly, Apple hasn't added detection for Flashback - by far the most widespread OS X malware ever - to the built-in Xprotect OS X antivirus tool,” F-Secure writes.
Actually, some would say it’s not surprising at all. The Cupertino computer giant has always been nothing short of a sloth regarding security patches, not just for the Java platform, but for most of the Mac OS X components in need of attention from a security standpoint.
“Also note that Apple has not provided a patch for the Java vulnerability used by Flashback for OS X v10.5 (or earlier),” F-Secure adds. “More than 16% of Macs still run OS X 10.5.”
Just like Apple, F-Secure’s advice to those running older versions of Mac OS X is to disable Java in their browser, or uninstall it altogether.