That darned Flashback infection has been in the news for a few weeks now, and cases are on the rise despite the fact that a handful software tools have been released to remove it.
Well, it gets worse. Security specialists Sophos did some research, and they found that there are more infected Macs out there than any of us originally thought. Not all of these computers are infected with Flashback. In fact, there is some good news, while they say that one in five computers has malware, they are including Macs that carry infections built for Windows. Not bad for the Mac owner, unless they also run Windows on the machine. That said, the infection can also be spread to Windows users from that computer. However, around one in 36 Macs are infected with Mac-specific malware. Still sucks.
This was found as they conducted tests on 100k computers and ran their free anti-virus software.
Here’s what they found:
Top Mac OS X malware found on Mac computers (7-day snapshot of 100,000 Macs):
1. OSX/Flshplyr 75.1%
2. OSX/FakeAV 17.8%
3. OSX/RSPlug 5.5%
4. OSX/Jahlav 1.2%
5. Other 0.4%
Here’s a portion of the report:
“Mac malware can spread via USB stick, email attachments, website download, or even a silent drive-by installation where the user doesn’t realize their Mac’s security has been subverted,” continued Cluley. “Cybercriminals view Macs as a soft target, because their owners don’t typically run anti-virus software and are thought to have a higher level of disposable income than the typical Windows user. Mac users must protect their computers now or risk making the malware problem on Macs as big as the problem on PCs.”
Many also found the following Windows malware on their OS X systems:
Top Windows malware found on Mac computers (7-day snapshot of 100,000 Macs):
1. Mal/Bredo 12.2%
2. Mal/Phish 7.4%
3. Mal/FakeAV 3.8%
4. Troj/ObfJS 3.6%
5. Mal/ASFDldr 3.3%
6. Troj/Invo 3.0%
7. Troj/Wimad 2.6%
8. Mal/Iframe 1.5%
9. Mal/JavaGen 1.4%
10. Other 61.2%