Apple Inc was dragged over the coals yesterday, by the cybersecurity community for dragging its heels on eradicating malware that according to experts may have infected up to 600,000 Macintosh computers. The malware can be used to ferret out sensitive user information.
According to Apple, it was working on finding and ridding "Flashback" malware that exploits a flaw in Oracle Corp's Java software. The company said on its website that it had issued patches and was now in the process of developing software for detection and elimination of Flashback. The company gave no further details.
However Apple is being blamed for failing to address the issue squarely, even after Oracle distributed its own patch in February.
Several security blogs have pointed fingersat Apple for not being forthcoming in the past about security issues, but gave the company brownie points for stepping forward now.
"Someone in Apple has broken ranks following the recent revelations of a Jolly Big OS X botnet," Paul Ducklin at security specialist Sophos wrote. "Apple has -- apparently for the very first time -- talked about a security problem before it had all its threat response ducks in a row."
Typically it is Microsoft Windows, the long dominant OS that has been thought to be vulnerable to malware. Flashback is unique in the sense that the attacks have targeted huge numbers of Apple computers, which are now becoming increasing popular.