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Apple updates Mac OS X Leopard to remove Flashback threat

15 May 2012
A snow leopard

Apple has released a Mac OS X Leopard update that disables insecure versions of Adobe Flash Player to combat the recent outbreak of Flashback infections.

The Leopard Security Update 2012-003 works by stopping Flash Player versions that do not include the latest security updates running on the device. Users are then prompted to download Adobe's latest version.

The update is the latest patch to be released by Apple, which has been seeking to stop the malware spreading further since it was first discovered earlier this year.

Apple initially released its Flashback removal tool in April, days after other private security firms like F-Secure released similar fixes.

The latest version of the Flashback Trojan is believed to have been active since 2011. At its height, research from security vendor Dr Web claimed as many as 600,000 computers were infected.

The number of Flashback infections has fallen since then, with the latest estimates reporting the figure as being closer to 140,000.

Apple also released a number of fixes for the Lion version of its operating system earlier this week.

The 10.7.4 Lion upgrade likewise aims to fix a number of bugs relating to Java and Adobe Flash Player, prompting users to update to a newer version if the device is running a version of Adobe Flash Player older than 10.1.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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