Apple has today released a software update with a new version of Java for OS X which includes a tool that automatically removes ‘the most common variants of the Flashback malware. The release of the tool follows on from the announcement by the company that they were working on software to remove the Flashback malware from Macs.
The update also has another trick up its sleeve in that it now prevents the Java web plug-in from automatically executing Java applets while browsing. However, if users wish to re-enable this, then they can do so by using the Java Preferences application. In addition, the Java web plug-in will now constantly monitor whether Java applets are run and if none are executed for a prolonged period of time then it will once again disable Java applets.
The update is available now through Software Update and weighs in at around 67 megabytes. The Flashback malware has, thus far, infected in excess of half a million Ma ccomputers worldwide but can be prevented by simple measures such as keeping software up to date or installing additional protection such as Little Snitch or ClamXav.