Apple releases Flashback malware removal update

Several days after it was first announced that a malware program called Flashback had infected hundreds of thousands of Mac PCs, Apple has now released a patch that is designed to remove the malware threat. The download is now available for Mac OS 10.6 and 10.7 via its automatic software updater.

Apple's support page offers more information about the download. Basically, it's an update for the Mac's Java support, which downloads a new version, Java SE 6 1.6.0_31. The new version supersedes all previous versions of Java for OS X 10.7. In addition to removing Flashback, the update also sets the Java web plug-in program to disable the automatic execution of any Java applets.

Users can manually go into the Java Preferences settings and restart the automatic launch of web Java applets if they wish. However, they should be aware that the Flashback malware infects a Mac PC by loading a Java applet.

As we reported earlier this week, any people that own Macs that still run OS X 10.5 or below should disable Java on their web browser in order to avoid getting hit by the Flashback malware. The program is one of the biggest security threats ever found for a Mac-based PC.

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