Symantec: Flashback Infections Down but Still Affect 140K

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – Earlier this month, the news of a massive botnet infecting up to 550 thousand Macintosh computers drew widespread interest within the online community after being reported on by online security firm Doctor Web.

The virus itself relied on an exploit in Java made possible through website redirects. “The exploit saves an executable file onto the hard drive of the infected Mac machine. The file is used to download malicious payload from a remote server and to launch it,” explained Doctor Web at the time.

Macintosh systems are notable for being less susceptible to infections when compared to Windows-based systems so the matter came as a surprise to some.

Following initial reporting on the issue, Apple followed through by unveiling a removal tool for the virus just last week. Meanwhile, top online virus protection provider Symantec has been following progress made against the spread of Flashback.  On Tuesday, the company said infections of the virus stand at a current rate of 140 thousand, down significantly but still drastically high compared to the rates that Symantec expected.

“As there have been tools released by Symantec and other vendors in the past few days concerning this threat, the infection numbers should have seen a dramatic decrease by now,” stated the company in a blog post.

Flashback isn’t the only notable virus threat faced by Mac OS X systems recently. On Saturday, Kaspersky Lab Expert Costin Raiu revealed that another Java-based virus known as SabPuc was infecting Apple computers too. For more information on the matter from Symantec, view a blog post by the company here (