With security firm Kaspersky recently confirming Russian antivirus company Dr. Web's revelation that Flashback malware has apparently infected over 600,000 Mac systems all over the world, it is now almost certain that Flashback is the largest Mac malware threat ever.
With reference to the Kaspersky disclosure that over 98 percent of the Flashback-infected computers were running Mac OS X, Mikko Hypponen - antivirus and computer security firm F-Secure's chief research officer - said in an email to CNET that, in comparison to the malware threats of the past, the Flashback threat is "the biggest, by far."
Against the backdrop of the general belief that Mac systems are largely free from malware threats, and it is mostly the Windows systems which are targeted -, Hypponen said that the Flashback episode is an indication that "the malware-free times of Mac users are behind us permanently."
Meanwhile, in another confirmation about the disquieting magnitude of Flashback malware, Catalin Cosoi - chief security researcher for antivirus-software maker Bitdefender - said that even though the infection was probably the largest one to have hit the Mac systems thus far in the last ten years, there is no specific way to ascertain the exact number of Mac OS computers which have been compromised.
According to Cosoi, even though the figure 600,000 represents approximately 12 percent of the Mac OS computers sold in the fourth quarter last year, the number of Falshback infections appear :pretty scary" if actual number of infections, and not just the percentages, are considered.