Having written several times — and taken a lot of heat from PC users — about the relative security of Apple’s AAPL operating systems (See Why are there no Mac viruses), I feel obliged to report that Mac OS X is under what appears to be the most serious malware attack to date.
According to a report posted Wednesday by Dr. Web, a Russian anti-virus vendor that may have a stick in this fire, the security of more than 550,000 Macs around the world have been compromised by the Flashback trojan.
Oracle ORCL , which assumed responsibility for the the Java programming language when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, released a fix for the vulnerability in February. According to Ars Technica‘s Jacqui Cheng, “Apple didn’t send out a fix until earlier this week, after news began to spread about the latest Flashback variant.”
The fix is part of the OS X software update called Java for OS X 2012-001. You’ll find it in Software Update in System Preferences. If you think one of your Macs is infected, F-Secure has instructions on how to use the Terminal application in your Utilities folder to find out:
UPDATE: According to an update posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon by a Dr. Web malware analyst, the number of infected Macs has reached 600,000.