OS X Trojan Takes Users Unawares

Macs running OS X are often touted as the most secure machines. While OS X is definitely more secure than other operating systems, it may not be as secure as owners think. A new trojan that takes advantage of a security flaw in OS X has been discovered, and it’s a doozy. This has the potential to be a security nightmare.

If you mention “OS X” and “virus” in the same sentence, you’ll get some weird looks from Mac users. Traditionally viruses and trojans on OS X were near non-existent, but there’s a Mac specific trojan, codenamed Flashback, that has affected more than 600,000 computers. This is big news as it shows that machines running OS X may not be as secure as first thought.

Many Mac owners are unsure of what exactly the Flashback trojan is, what it does and how to ensure they’re not infected. We’re here to help clarify the situation.

What is a Trojan and What Does Flashback Do?
In general terms, a trojan is a piece of malicious software that infects a computer and gives control of part, or the whole computer to hackers. The Flashback trojan takes advantage of an OS X Java vulnerability and infects computers by tricking them into downloading a fake Java update.

When the program is installed, Flashback will download and install the main trojan code without the need for permission from the administrator. From there it proceeds to hijack your browser, redirect search queries to websites developed by hackers, and then take advantage of pay-per-click advertising.

Why Should I be Worried?
While this version hijacks your browser, there are far more sinister things it could do. As this trojan acts as a downloader, there’s nothing stopping the developers from updating the malware to steal passwords, banking information and other confidential information.

How do I Ensure My Mac is Clean?
Apple has released an update for machines running OS X 10.6 and later. The first step you should take is to update your computer to patch the vulnerability. To update your Mac:

  1. Press the Apple logo, located in the top right hand of your screen.
  2. Select Software Update…
  3. Press Install and Restart.

While the patch will prevent Flashback from working, it won’t delete the program if you’ve been infected. The Internet security company F-Secure has developed a script that scans your computer and removes Flashback if found. Once you have downloaded the script, open and run it. The script will search your computer and place the infected files in an encrypted ZIP folder labeled Flashback_quarantine.zip.

Flashback has infected a higher number of Macs than any other trojan to date and goes to show that Macs also have security flaws. This also serves as a reminder that you should have a virus scanner and security program running on your Mac. If you have any questions regarding the security of your Mac or other devices, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help keep your machines secure.

Why your BCP may not be up to snuff

Respect him or not, Mao Tse-tung had it right when he said, “The only real defense is an active defense.” Businesses have taken this literally and have adopted Business Continuity Plans (BCP) to ensure that when a disaster strikes they are ready with an active plan. Many of them are prepared technology wise, but the other assets may not be so ready.


Tasty Ice Cream Sandwich Tips

With each new version of Android, Google has improved the mobile OS to the point where it’s now one of the most popular mobile systems. When the new version of Android was announced, users couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. Now that many Android devices have been upgraded there’s a growing number of users enjoying Ice Cream Sandwich.


Businesses Not Allowing Social Media

One issue that’s sparked a large amount of debate is whether or not companies should allow their employees to access social media while at work. One thing’s for certain, the number of employees who actually use social media on a regular basis is large, and growing. There will come a time when companies that block social media can no longer afford to do so.


Together: Harder/Better/Faster/Stronger

Collaboration is all around us. We see it on a daily basis in both our personal and professional lives. At work we cooperate with colleagues, managers, suppliers, customers and almost everyone we come in contact with at the office. It’s become so important that if businesses have employees who don’t mesh, their chances of success are almost non-existent.