Oxford University: We've Been Overwhelmed By Mac Malware

By Sam Gibbs on at

Looks like all that Mac malware that's been taking the internet by storm is causing serious havoc for administrators. Network security staff from Oxford University have been "somewhat overwhelmed" by the Flashback Trojan on a "windows scale", plus they reckon Apple's "making minimal effort" to help them out. The bad news as there's even more Mac malware in the wild too.

In a rather candid blog post, the Oxford security team explained they were struggling to deal with the sheer number of Flashback-infected machines. The last time they saw this many malware-ridden computers was back in 2003 with the Blaster worm, which hit Windows pretty hard.

I wouldn't be surprised if other Mac-using institutions are suffering the same problem, faced with inefficient built-in tools for removing the menace combined with Apple's response time being just a tad tardy. It also doesn't help that another new bug has been found in the wild that targets OS X. This one takes advantage of an old vulnerability in Microsoft Office for Mac, which was patched by Microsoft back in 2009. Unfortunately not everyone bothers to update, and while it doesn't seem to be able to do its evil business on Lion, Snow Leopard users are still vulnerable.

It just goes to show that no matter what operating system you're using you can't afford to be complacent about what you click on and when you update. Maybe we should all switch to Linux as the last 'malware free' safe haven. [ZDnet 1, 2]

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