Systems report malware on Macs connected to UC Davis network

UC Davis security systems are reporting the presence of malware on a number of Mac computers connected to the campus network, including departmental computers and individually owned machines.

This news is not surprising. Security researchers report that up to 600,000 Mac computers may have been recently infected by one of several Flashback malware variants. This malware typically masquerades as a Web browser plug-in update and, when installed, could collect personal information on the computer and forward that information to remote servers.

Campus policy requires computers on the campus network to be free of security vulnerabilities. UC Davis IT Security Coordinator Robert Ono strongly recommends that your Mac computer be inspected for this malware, and the malware removed if found.

Apple has released a software update to detect and remove the Flashback malware for versions 10.6 and 10.7 of OS X. This software update does not apply to prior OS X versions. Other no-cost tools to detect and remove Flashback are available from vendors such as Symantec and F-Secure.

The best way to reduce the chances of malware residing on your computer, regardless of brand, is to use a current operating system (OS) on your computer, install anti-virus software, and to keep both the OS and anti-virus updated.

If you have questions about this malware, or the removal of the malware, please contact your campus unit technical coordinator (see directory) or IT Express at 530-754-HELP (4357).