Apple releases Flashback removal tool

As promised, Apple on Thursday released a utility to remove the most common variants of the Flashback malware.

According to Apple the update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets.

The tool is available via software update.



  • http://twitter.com/greg42 Greg

    Anything that works on earlier OS variants? It’s annoying that so much of the writing ignores the long life of Macs including some so old they can’t run 10.6/10.7.  That’s any PPC.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      How many years of OS support do you expect from a personal computer? How many more years have you already received from Apple than you would have gotten from any Microsoft licensee?

      • http://twitter.com/greg42 Greg

        I don’t want anything from Apple.  I’d like to see examples of the Apple-oriented tech press I read reporting on what happens with earlier versions.  Lots of people with fewer resources are still using them.  True that people actually using those versions won’t likely be reading those sources, but if they don’t report it, nothing in the mainstream will either.

        My understanding is that there are non-Apple removal tools.  Would be good to see someone go “Hey such and such tool works if you have a PPC running 10.5″ or whatever.  Or even bother to confirm that it infects earlier versions.  Instead  anything earlier than 10.6 doesn’t exist.  I expect that from Apple.  I don’t expect it from tech news that one would suppose would be useful to someone maintaining a bunch of various vintage Macs.

        This isn’t to single out The Loop or Jim or anything.  I admit my looking hasn’t been exhaustive and thus something may have changed recently.  I comment here because I can, and because I’ve commented here before.  And because I thought maybe the readers would chime in with a suggestion (other than “Dude you’re running some antiques” which I am of course well aware of but we have limited resources and they do the job in certain instances.  We have G4 iMacs running.  Would have G5 iMacs still in use but all those died.  Every. Last. One.  What a lemon model that was.  Also some G5 PowerMacs and one lone G4 mini.  We have some newer ones too but for some uses it just isn’t worth replacing the old ones that still work.)

      • http://thenextlab.com/ Steven

        WinXP was released August 24, 2001 and will be supported till April 8, 2014. This is kind of support we are talking about.  For instance Mac OS X 10.5 was released on  26 October 2007 and killed on Mid 2010. 

        • Timisorean

          The installbase of Win XP and OS X 10.5 is not the same.

          “It’s hard getting an exact figure on the Windows XP installed base, but suffice to say it’s still enormous, and in the hundreds of millions range. Looked at as a percentage of all 1.3 billion Windows users worldwide, close to 50 percent are still using XP. And in enterprises, it’s even higher, possibly as high as 65 percent.”

          How many people still use 10.5? I’d say less than 10%.

          • http://twitter.com/greg42 Greg

            Now that I’m fresh in the AM, I’m looking for more stuff and finding more mentions.

            It’s important.  10.5, 10.4 and older together are 22% of Macs in use!

            See http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002346.html  The graph they include for the usage distribution is from an article dated March 30 2012.

            Link also includes a check and removal tool BTW, one that apparently works on older versions.

          • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

            I don’t dispute the durability of Mac hardware; I’ve always been grateful for it. 

            I simply say it’s unrealistic to expect much of either Apple’s effort or the tech press’ attention to focus on OS versions that are past their stated support life. That some sites and vendors still maintain resources for them is great, but expecting more than that is, in some cases, asking a lot.

        • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Microsoft’s support for XP extended due to near-universal demand, after virtually the entire Windows-using community made it clear that Vista was too awful to consider upgrading to?

          XP is an exception to the support standard. Don’t count on that kind of longevity being repeated.

  • Kumanumahey

    XP Support was slated for discontinuation several times, and has been extended several times after discontinuation. Windows 7 is much better and supports the future as well as the past, but then more people will need to upgrade their hardware.

    Also, you are talking to a lot of people who still have state of the art gadgets (DVR’S, Media boxes and so forth) but their computer and many times their internet hardware is the last to get updated.  Which is exactly what you need to do with Macs at a certain point too. 10.4 is older, and still great (10.3 is still around too), but times have changed SO much since it was released and the majority of mac hardware can still handle the update to a 10.5 system.XP was excellent, in 2002. That’s ten years. The infrastructure of the OS and the tech and computing has changed SO much in that time so its actually part of what is holding back most users.

    It also costs most companies a crazy amount of money  (this includes most tech companies) to support an operating system that will never be able to be what Windows 7 is now.

    The argument that everything must be updated every single year however, is not the same as what is happening here. 

  • judi

    my operating system is ‘snow leopard’ . so not that old. been advised to download ‘mountain lion’ to cure the problem. trouble is it can’t be done as cannot use known password ( which hasbeen changed, by me ) to access system to install said operating system ! now what / ! anyone help ? disqus is asking for email address, whats the point if i can’t access it ? ! ! ! frustrated