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Is it time for anti-virus on your Mac?

Recent reports by Dr. Web, a Russian anti-virus vendor, indicates that a Trojan may have infected over 550,000 Macs. Most of these machines seem to reside in the US and Canada. This Trojan is JavaScript related and requires the user to visit an infected website, enter in their admin password, and install the Trojan. Many tech news organizations have reported this over the last couple of days with some caution and some fear.

Apple seems to have patched this vulnerability within the last day or so with a Java update for Lion and Snow Leopard. The “however” here is the flaw seems to have been known for some time and a Windows patch was delivered back in February. Apple did take more time to update their Java install. It is out and available now, so patch your system soon. If you have not run a System Update, you can do so by:

  1. Clicking on “System Preferences” in the Dock or Utilities
  2. Clicking on “Software Update”
  3. Click “Check Now"
  4. Install Updates
Mac users have been considered safe from most of these compromises. Will this current threat drive more people to consider installing an anti-virus software to their Mac? Does this mean more vulnerabilities will effect Apple machines? With a growing number of Apple machines being sold, hackers may wish to move in Apple’s direction. However, they may not reach the impact and return similar to Windows-based machines. Most of these attacks come through third-party software such as Java or Flash and not necessarily through the Unix based OSX.

If you are concerned and wish to investigate your Mac further, Mac Guides and Solutions offers some good items to check within System Preferences and identifying weak spots within your system.

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