Flashback trojan finding willing victims

September 28, 2011

When it comes to a trojan, the only way you can become infected is to click install. It’s that simple — bad things only happen if you allow yourself to be fooled. And, here’s how not to get fooled by this latest trojan, which as these things go is fairly sophisticated.

Antivirus software maker (chicken or egg?) Intego is warning that the Flashback trojan, which Blorge reported on earlier, is now propagating in the wild.

How is this possible? Well, if you should run across it, you will see a series of images that look like this.


See also: Where to get the real Adobe Flash Player

With the Mac’s installed base now over 50 million users, there are many switchers. The above series of images looks reasonably similarly to what a Windows user might experience when Adobe Flash crashes.

“This is effective social engineering,” writes Intego. “Savvy Mac users will not be fooled, because they know that a Flash installer would never appear in this manner…”

Neither Mac OS X nor Safari, Apple’s default browser, will generate error or warning messages like those shown above. Further, the only place you should ever download/update software is from the source.

Force quite, report to Apple

First things first. The Flashback Trojan only affects Safari and the Mac versions of Chrome, Opera or Firefox aren’t susceptible to this attack.

However, if you are running Safari and see the above windows pop up on your Mac, press Command + Shift + Escape to force quit Safari. When Safari recovers, you will be asked if you want to send a report about the incident to Apple — just click OK and send the report.

Next, in Safari’s Preferences (Safari menu > Preferences), click the General tab and deselect “Open ‘safe’ files after download.”

Also, make a mental note of where you were when Flashback tried to attack and don’t go back — get your porn, warez, “free” flash games, (illegally) streamed movies, TV shows or whatever someplace else. Always remember that if something’s free, you’re the product being sold…

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