Apple’s line of computers are no longer the safe haven for users who have been scared away from Microsoft Windows because of virus infections. A Russian anti-virus firm reported on Thursday that more than 600,000 Apple computers have been infected with the Flashback Trojan.
The trojan essentially allows Apple computers to be hijacked and used as part of a massive “botnet.”
According to the Russian firm more than half of the infected computers are located in the United States.
While Apple has released a security patch to fix the issues, users must choose to download the patch otherwise their computers remain exposed.
In the meantime Flashback isn’t a new problem, it was first discovered by anti-virus researchers in September 2011 when it was pretending to be a Flash Player update. Once downloaded the program deactivated some of Apple’s security software.
In the newest version of the Flashback Trojan virus the malware exposed weaknesses in the Java programming language to install software from bogus sites without the user’s permission.
After a computer was exposed the system was marked with a unique ID which could identify the infected machine.
Most of the bots appear to be in the United States, Canada and Australia with specific attempts to target “English-speaking people.”
While Java developers at Oracle fixed the issue in February 14 for Windows devices that fix did not work with Apple since the company manages Java updates to its computers.
Simple click on your Mac’s “update” feature and you’ll be able to install the patch with very little work on your behalf.