Panic has spread around the Mac user community like a, well, virus since news broke last week of the Flashback malware that has supposedly infected over a half million Macs around the world.
The Flashback malware exploits a Mac Java vulnerability.
Apple has released an update to patch those flaws, after the Flashback malware had already infected more than half a million Macs.
Now there’s a quick and easy way to check whether your Mac is infected by Flashback, courtesy of a free app called Flashback Checker.
Flashback Checker is a small utility from programmer Juan Leon. It combs through your Mac’s contents to find any traces of the Flashback malware.
The Mac Trojan horse infection saves an executable file onto the hard drive of the infected Mac and then harvests sensitive information including passwords.
"The file is used to download malicious payload from a remote server and to launch it." Said Russian antivirus firm Doctor Web.
Leon used the Terminal scripts highlighted by Macworld contributor John C. Welch to write a native application that checked for all the known variants in a single run.
“People were struggling with the command line,” explained Leon to Macworld.
The average Mac user runs scared of any command line such as the Mac Terminal, so Leon’s simple app is the easiest way to check whether a Mac has the Flashback malware.
When you launch Flashback Checker, you simply click its one button “Check for Flashback Infection”. I
Almost immediately you get the results, and most will see the reassuring message “No Signs of infection were found.
If you are infected, the utility alerts you but doesn’t remove the malware. It does, however, direct you to information about cleaning up your system.
This does require getting intimate with the Terminal command line interface.