Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Releases Flashback Removal Tool for Macs Running OS X Lion without Java

Following yesterday's release of fresh Java updates to remove the Flashback malware system from Macs running OS X Lion and Snow Leopard, Apple today released a standalone Flashback malware removal tool to clean infections from OS X Lion systems without Java installed.
About Flashback malware removal tool

This Flashback malware removal tool that will remove the most common variants of the Flashback malware.

If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will be presented notifying the user that malware was removed.

In some cases, the Flashback malware removal tool may need to restart your computer in order to completely remove the Flashback malware.

This update is recommended for all OS X Lion users without Java installed.
While the most dangerous method of attack for Flashback exploits a security hole in Java that Apple has now patched, various versions of the malware have also used social engineering and other tricks in attempting to gain access to users' systems.


With OS X Lion not having Java included by default, users of Apple's latest operating system who have found themselves infected through other means and do not have Java installed can use the new tool to clean their systems without needing to install Java.

The update weighs in at 356 KB and requires OS X Lion without Java installed.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

27 months ago

The update weighs in at 356 KB.


Why do you say it 'weighs in at' 356 KB?

Why don't you just say it 'is' 365 KB

I don't see how writing 'it weighs in at' adds any information or style especially as you have used this phrase at least 100 times in the exact same way. That seems to reveal a certain lack of style. Or perhaps I am just being a curmudgeon.
Rating: 14 Positives
27 months ago

Thanks Apple. I appreciate you trying to help Mac users. I got the trojan via Java, but this should help those running Lion without Java that may get exposed to the trojan in some other way.

Thanks Apple?

Hello? What are you thinking?

It's Apples responsibility to step up, too bad they had to get busted publicly, before taking action to resolve this.
Rating: 14 Positives
27 months ago

Why do you say it 'weighs in at' 356 KB?

Why don't you just say it 'is' 365 KB

I don't see how writing 'it weighs in at' adds any information or style especially as you have used this phrase at least 100 times in the exact same way. That seems to reveal a certain lack of style. Or perhaps I am just being a curmudgeon.


You're a virgin aren't you?
Rating: 10 Positives
27 months ago

Why do you say it 'weighs in at' 356 KB?

Why don't you just say it 'is' 365 KB

I don't see how writing 'it weighs in at' adds any information or style especially as you have used this phrase at least 100 times in the exact same way. That seems to reveal a certain lack of style. Or perhaps I am just being a curmudgeon.


Are you kidding me? There are bigger fish to fry in life.
Rating: 7 Positives
27 months ago

Why do you say it 'weighs in at' 356 KB?

Why don't you just say it 'is' 365 KB

I don't see how writing 'it weighs in at' adds any information or style especially as you have used this phrase at least 100 times in the exact same way. That seems to reveal a certain lack of style. Or perhaps I am just being a curmudgeon.


FFS! Get a life. I don't see how your post contributed anything to anything.

FWIW, my Leopard machine hasn't picked up this update... Yet. I'm checking around and will post back accordingly.

Update: Maybe best to download a removal tool/checker, and disable Java on Mac's that can't update to Snow Leopard. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57411535-263/java-updates-for-flashback-avoid-os-x-tiger-and-leopard/ (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57411535-263/java-updates-for-flashback-avoid-os-x-tiger-and-leopard/)
Rating: 6 Positives
27 months ago
Whenever I need an excuse for something, I know I can count on some of the members of MacRumors.

The fan boys here can justify or explain away anything. It never ceases to amaze me. Lessons in denial are free. No wonder Apple has it's way.

Hypocrisy reigns supreme :D
Rating: 5 Positives
27 months ago

Agreed. Now go bitch at the folks at Adobe and Oracle because it was THEIR software that was the issue that allowed this threat to happen. Not Apple.


It has nothing to do with Adobe or Oracle. Just because the trojan mimick's Adobe's software, that does not make it Adobe's fault. Just like if a peice of malware mimicked iTunes, it wouldn't be Apple's fault.

Oracle don't compile Java for OS X. Apple do. That is why OS X Java support is always at least a version outdated. Oracle fixed this issue a long time ago, it was Apple who failed to keep OS X updated.
Rating: 5 Positives
27 months ago
Thanks Apple. I appreciate you trying to help Mac users. I got the trojan via Java, but this should help those running Lion without Java that may get exposed to the trojan in some other way.
Rating: 5 Positives
27 months ago

Same. I don't see how so many people are getting this.

Also, Apple didn't release anything for Leopard, right?


Perhaps, those who got infected are visiting too much porn sites:D
Rating: 5 Positives
27 months ago

Oh, and opening "safe" files after downloading isn't dangerous. What's it going to do, infect your computer by opening a ZIP or DMG? Just don't agree to any installations that randomly appear when you're browsing some shady site, loading plugins on the site.

This is how many were caught by the MacDefender malware. Granted, they should have closed the installer when it launched, but unchecking that option in Safari prevents even the installer from launching. It never should have been checked in the first place.

Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4651) built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
Mac Virus/Malware FAQ (http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ)
[LIST=1]
[*]Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall


[*]Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General


[*]Uncheck "Enable Java" in Safari > Preferences > Security. This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5244). Leave this unchecked until you visit a trusted site that requires Java, then re-enable only for your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)


[*]Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this (http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ#Why_am_I_being_redirected_to_other_sites.3F).


[*]Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.


[*]Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.


[*]Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.


[*]For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.


[*]Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
[/LIST]
That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any virus, trojan, spyware, keylogger, or other malware. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.

If you still want to run antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (http://www.clamxav.com/) (which is free) is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges. You can run scans when you choose, rather than leaving it running all the time, slowing your system. ClamXav has a Sentry feature which, if enabled, will use significant system resources to constantly scan. Disable the Sentry feature. You don't need it. Also, when you first install ClamXav, as with many antivirus apps, it may perform an initial full system scan, which will consume resources. Once the initial scan is complete, periodic on-demand scans will have much lower demands on resources.
Rating: 5 Positives

[ Read All Comments ]