Virus infects 50 Mac computers at AU

A computer virus has infected over 50 Mac computers at AU, according to a memo sent out by the Office of Information Technology on April 11.

The virus, called Flashback or Flashfake, takes advantage of out-of-date Java software on computers and installs malicious software. The software allows an external source to control the computer remotely without the owner’s knowledge, according to Eric Weakland, the director of Information Security at AU.

“This is a problem because then the controllers can do anything they want on your computer: from showing you unwanted ads, all the way to stealing information from you like credit card numbers or your username and password,” Weakland said.

Flashback has infected over 600,000 computers worldwide and was first discovered in September 2011.

Apple released an update fixing the software weakness on April 3. OIT said AU students should update their computer’s software to prevent the virus from infecting their computer.

OIT is identifying which computers have been affected by the virus, notifying the owners and helping them fix the problem, as well as protecting the virus from spreading through AU’s network.

“It is very important to keep all your installed software up to date,” Weakland said. “Mac computers are not immune to viruses, and cyber criminals are targeting Mac users more often.”

kfiegenbaum@theeagleonline.com

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