University of Minnesota
Go to the U of M home page

Office of Information Technology - CFANS OIT

Home > Support my Hardware/Software > Safe Computing > Protect your Mac from the Flashback malware

Protect your Mac from the Flashback malware

Apple released a security update on April 16 that removes the most common variants of the Flashback Trojan horse. People with Macs running OS 10.6 and higher should run Software Update right away to install this update.

NOTE: If your Mac runs an OS older than 10.6, the safest thing is to turn off Java in the Java Preferences app in your Mac's Utilities folder.

Run Software Update

To run Software Update, go to the Apple at the top right of your screen and choose Software Update. The update appears like this for Snow Leopard:

 Mac Flashback update2 png


A security gap in Apple's release of Java apparently allowed the infection of more than 600,000 Macs world-wide by the Flashback Trojan horse, over 50% of which were in the U.S. According to an article in PC Magazine, the Flashback malware installs from compromised websites without the user having to download a file or interact with the site. As the malware installs, it requests an administrative password, but installs even without one. The malware then collects passwords and other personal data from the infected computer.

More Information

If you discover that your University Mac is infected or if you have other questions, contact