Half a Million Mac Computers Infected With Trojan

More than half a million Apple computers have been infected with the Flashback Trojan, according to a Russian anti-virus firm. Its report claims that about 600,000 Macs have installed the malware – potentially allowing them to be hijacked and used as a “botnet”.

The firm, Dr Web, says that more than half that number are based in the US. Apple has released a security update, but users who have not installed the patch remain exposed. Flashback was first detected last September when anti-virus researchers flagged up software masquerading itself as a Flash Player update. Once downloaded it deactivated some of the computer’s security software. Later versions of the malware exploited weaknesses in the Java programming language to allow the code to be installed from bogus sites without the user’s permission.

Dr Web said that once the Trojan was installed it sent a message to the intruder’s control server with a unique ID to identify the infected machine. Dr Web also notes that 274 of the infected computers it detected appeared to be located in Cupertino, California – home to Apple’s headquarters.

Java’s developer, Oracle, issued a fix to the vulnerability on 14 February, but this did not work on Macintoshes as Apple manages Java updates to its computers. Apple released its own “security update” on Wednesday – more than eight weeks later. It can be triggered by clicking on the software update icon in the computer’s system preferences panel.

Although Apple’s system software limits the actions its computers can take without requesting their users’ permission, some security analysts suggest this latest incident highlights the fact that the machines are not invulnerable. Apple could not provide a statement at this time.

Source: BBC News

Image: Slate

Android Surpasses iPhone in U.K. Market

Android has taken over in the United Kingdom as the #1 smartphone operating system in terms of market share. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech measured smartphone usage between January 2011 and January 2012 to find that Android had a 36.9 percent share while Apple’s iPhone had 28.5 percent.

In fairness, this should be expected. It technically compares software with hardware and Android is installed on hundreds of phones while iOS is only installed on the iPhone, which is divided into five different models — two of which Apple has discontinued. Keeping this in mind, it’s understandable that Android has more mobile OS market share than iOS in the United Kingdom.

In January 2011, the iPhone dominated the market with 29.2 percent and Android only had a 20.1 percent share. Interestingly, neither iOS nor RIM dramatically dropped during the course of 2011, indicating customer loyalty to both brands. Instead, Android spiked up to its current 36.9 percent share mostly at the cost of Symbian. In the United States, the iPhone still outsold Android handsets last quarter.

Smartphones in general are growing in popularity as well in the UK. 50.3 percent of the British population owns a smartphone. “For the first time ever, you are now in the minority if you don’t own a smartphone,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Source: Digg

Image: DZine Blog 360