It was bound to happen, of course. Apple has long since prided itself in having the best defenses in the online world. The MacBook, the iPads and the iPhones have never really suffered the problems of malware and viruses the other systems went through.
In the first place, it makes no monetary sense for the evil makers of these viruses to spread their malware over an operating system that caters to very few people – that was the argument in the beginning. However, since Apple products started to become more popular and Apple increased its security power, it was almost an affront to the makers of malware who were unable to penetrate the walls of the huge company.
Apple has finally taken a hit with the Flashback Trojan stealing personal information by appearing to be an innocent browser plug-in. What the Flashback does is take your passwords and other information that you type into a browser (it is, after all, a browser plug-in, which means ALL the information that you type into a browser, including internet banking details and credit card information) is sent to remote servers. In the beginning, an unassuming user had to install the malware thinking it to be a decent software, but now the malware can install itself.
Apple has responded fairly quickly to this incident by saying that it has its own set of experts who are working on software that will detect and remove the malware from a machine which is infected. It will be working with service providers from around the world by disabling networks which are used as a control tool for the malware. It is worthy to note that the sale of antivirus and security tools for OS X has gone up since this threat.
Because Apple uses Java, the malware sneaked through the gaps in code which Apple did not address until April. The Apple malware detector XProtect did not help either- the malware slipped through these grasps as well, but Apple has responded by updating the security tool XProtect. You can check whether your system has it through F-secure or Norton, but even if you don’t have it, it is best to be secure. How do you secure your system? Download only from secure websites. Keep your add-ons updated. This means even third party add-ons so they can detect any new security threats. For now don’t rush in to downloading Java ad-ons even if they are from trustworthy sources.