Conflicting Reports On Receding Flashback Levels

The number of Macs infected with the Flashback malware continue to decline but it’s not entirely clear to what degree. Initial numbers estimated that there were about 600,000 infected computers in total yet those numbers dropped last week to 237,000 and now, according to research by Symantec published last night, remained around the 140,000 mark this week.

Mac trojanThe number of Macs infected with the Flashback malware continue to decline but it’s not entirely clear to what degree. Initial numbers estimated that there were about 600,000 infected computers in total yet those numbers dropped last week to 237,000 and now, according to research by Symantec published last night, remained around the 140,000 mark this week.

“The statistics from our sinkhole are showing declining numbers on a daily basis. However, we had originally believed that we would have seen a greater decline in infections at this point in time, but this has proven not to be the case,” read an entry on Symantec’s Security Response blog on Monday.

Reports from anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab however counted just 30,000 infected computers in their sinkhole yesterday and 45,000 on Monday. These numbers, almost a fifth of the size of Symantec’s, seem to imply that Apple’s biggest malware nightmare thus far has wound down in a hurry.

While Flashback had been infecting victims for the better part of the last year, it was in February that a new incarnation of the Trojan was found exploiting a Java vulnerability and causing the widespread infection of Mac OSX machines.

Apple patched the Java hole earlier this month, but not before several anti-virus companies, including Kaspersky, set up sites to assist Mac users in verifying whether or not their machines were infected with the Flashback malware.

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