If you happened to have saved up all of your hard earned dollars in order to eventually get rid of your virus magnet Windows-based PC and move across to a gorgeous but rather expensive OS X toting Mac, hoping to never worry about malware or viruses again, then it may be time to update your views and stop listening to internet chatter about how Macs can never get infections.
It wasn’t that long ago when we were being briefed about a vulnerability in Java that allowed the Flashback malware to be installed upon Macs, something that managed to find its way onto about six hundred thousand OS X powered computers around the world. As you might expect from an extremely security conscious company like Apple, they quickly acted to not only release system updates to prevent the virus from being installed, but also announced they would work closely with providers across the world to shut down the network of servers that were involved in the distribution.
Although that particular malware issue was frozen out, it appears that all is not perfect in the Java 7 world with the news that some less-than-ethical individuals have set about exploiting a rather nasty zero-day exploit in Java 7. It is worth noting that the issue isn’t just related to Macs running OS X, but it has been proven that it can attack through browsers that are running on Windows and Linux, but the OS X issue is alarming due to the public illusion that Macs aren’t susceptible to this kind of thing.
If you have purchased OS X Mountain Lion from the App Store, then this doesn’t mean you are automatically in the clear as the issue has also been proven to be exploitable on the latest public version of Apple’s operating system, although certain security parameters in place should make it evident to the user that something is happening. And the same thing goes for Windows users. Although the existence of the bug is worrying, it doesn’t immediately mean that we should ring the panic alarm just yet and users do have the option of just disabling the Java plug-in until Oracle pushes out a patch that remedies the issue. Alternatively, the more technically minded users can just remove Java 7 from their machines altogether.