- (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
More than 600,000 Macs have been infected by a Trojan Virus, which could steal personal information from user's computers.
The virus is called a flashback Trojan and is disguised as a fake Adobe Flash Player, a very popular download often required to watch video on the Internet. Dr. Web has reported that over half a million computers have been affected by the virus. Of the attacks, 57 percent appear to have occurred in the U.S., with another 20 percent in Canada.
The virus, which was first discovered in September of 2011, appears to be evolving. Topher Kessler, a blogger for CNet, has explained that "simply visiting a malicious Web site containing Flashback on an OS X system with Java installed will result in one of two installation routes."
"The malware will request an administrator password, and if one is supplied, it will install its package of code into the Applications folder. If a password is not offered, the malware will install to the user accounts where it can run in a more global manner."
Apple has attempted to respond quickly to the issue, providing a new download, which will help to protect Mac computers from vulnerabilities found within the Java program.
Once a computer has been hacked, the virus can harvest passwords form other programs to retrieve personal information which includes user names and passwords.
One CNet blogger asked a question that appeared to be on everyone's mind.
"Do you think you could tell me what to look for if my system is compromised? I know I've updated adobe flash recently, but my mac doesn't show any signs of infection, if it would even be noticeable."
According to the site, F-secure "on successful infection, the malware modifies targeted web pages displayed in the web browser."
The site also provides instructions on how to remove the virus although it recommends that those who are not tech savvy should acquire professional assistance.