Antivirus Firms Release Free Tools for Cleaning Macs Infected by Flashback

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Yesterday, Apple disclosed for the first time that it is working to develop a software tool to detect and remove the Flashback malware from infected machines. We also previously profiled Flashback Checker, a simple app designed to allow users to easily see if their Macs are infected but which provides no assistance with disinfection.

    While Apple works on its own official solution, other parties have continued to develop their own increasingly user-friendly tools for dealing with the threat and cleaning infected machines, with some of those tools making their way into the public's hands.

    Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab, which has played a key role in monitoring and publicizing the threat of Flashback, yesterday announced the launch of a free web-based checker where users can simply input the hardware UUID of their Mac to see if it has registered on the firm's servers as an infected machine. The company has also released Flashfake Removal Tool, a free app that quickly and easily detects and removes the malware.


    Antivirus firm F-Secure has also announced its own free Flashback Removal app. The app generates a log file detailing whether it has found Flashback on a user's system, and if so quarantines it inside an encrypted ZIP file for disposal.

    F-Secure also points out that Apple has yet to offer any protection for users running systems earlier than Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Flashback uses a vulnerability in Java to install itself without user authorization, and Apple released software patches for Java on Lion and Snow Leopard last week to close that hole and prevent infection on updated systems. Machines running earlier versions of Mac OS X do, however, remain unprotected. Specifically, F-Secure notes that over 16% of Macs are still running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, marking a substantial user base that remains vulnerable to the threat.

    Update: Kaspersky Lab has informed MacRumors that the Flashfake Removal Tool has temporarily been pulled after the discovery that in some cases it could erroneously remove certain user settings. A fixed version of the tool will be posted as soon as it is available.

    Update 2: The patched version of the Flashfake Removal Tool is now available through the Kaspersky Lab site.

    Article Link: Antivirus Firms Release Free Tools for Cleaning Macs Infected by Flashback
  2. garylapointe, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

    macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    They should have a great big donate $1 button on it!

    The "solvers" of the biggest infection in Mac history. (Right?)

  3. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    I would guess that way over 16% of Macs are running a pre-Snow Leopard OS.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2011
    'infected' suggests its a virus. thought macs didnt get viruses. haha
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    Yes, if 16% are running Leopard. Then everyone running pre-Leopard would certainly increase those numbers.

  6. macrumors 65816


    Dec 10, 2002
    I still don't believe the 600,000 figure.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I guess being too lazy and, frankly, cheap to spend that $29 seems pretty stupid now, doesn't it? :D
  8. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    Well I would also guess that way over 16% of Macs are running Leopard.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Gosh you must be on to something. I guess Mac users are all idiots.

  10. macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    I assume you're being sarcastic. ... in which case, yes :rolleyes:.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    I think technically it's malware, since it tricks the user into installing it. Viruses get in on their own.

    People infected with lead poisoning usually don't necessarily "catch" it, you might have accidentally ingested it.

  12. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the lens, UK
    Company offers free antivirus software? Is this not just a precursor to getting you to buy there antivirus software. Coming from a PC background I've always been suspicious that Norton and others have 1 department creating viruses whilst another creates antivirus software. Or am I just skeptical?
    Either way as I'm waiting to buy a new iMac I'm less than happy to hear about Mac viruses.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2006
    damn apparently my computer was infected with this thing...
    any word on exactly what information this malware takes? i should probably change all my passwords shouldn't i?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2008
    SEC Country
    I checked and was not infected. I'm always skeptical about companies doing anything for free. What's the catch with Kaspersky?:rolleyes:
  15. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    should we use this removal tool to check. or should we just wait for apple to provide a tool to check and remove?
  16. macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    whose scanner did you run?
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2011
    MMmyes. Just give us UUID and we check if you infected. Soon, a pyop up wyndow will appyear. Click yyes, and pretty soon, infection will happen, uhm I mean will be checked! Don't worry about all those connections in nyetstat pointing to warez locations. This is the infection removal process and it pyerfectly nyormal.
  18. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Interesting that these tools are appearing after Apple announced that a fix of their own is coming....
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2006
    Central, Illinois
    I think in time they will try to get you to open your walletsky so you can spend some of your moneysky on their Mac anti-virusky.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2012
    Kaspersky Lab web page is bogus

    A few days ago I did the Terminal commands that F-Secure posted for checking for Flashback trojan ( Redid it today and both times came up negative.

    I downloaded and used an app to do the same ( and also the F-Secure Flashback Removal app. They both also came up negative.

    I used the web-based checker in this article, put in the hardware UUID of my Mac and surprise, surprise, it came up positive.

    I would have thought that MacRumours would've tested them and saw that the Kaspersky Lab web page is bogus!!!!
  21. macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2009
    Well, there's my answer. :rolleyes:
  22. macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2006
    i used the Kaspersky one. but huh comments above do indeed make this look suspicious.
  23. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006

    Plus I would like to note removing an infection after it happen is just a band-aid fix. Damage was already done and some of these lovely little trogans will make themselves near impossible to remove by killing or stopping the fix from even running.

    I have noticed the time between infection on OSX has been dropping pretty steady and it will not be long before running AV software on OSX will be a near must have much like it is in the windows world.
  24. macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2007

    I used this and it said it removed it and then when I restarted my mac i ran the web checker again and it said I still had it? hmmmmmm

    Please someone verify if this is some sort or bad thing or not?
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2010
    all my macs were clean...:D

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