Variation on Mac trojan disables built-in OS X malware protections

The anti-malware protections that are built into Mac OS X could be at risk thanks to a newer Mac trojan. The trojan in question, Trojan-Downloader:OSX/Flashback.C, was discovered by researchers at F-Secure–it’s a variation on the Mac trojan discovered in September that poses as a Flash Player installer, OSX/Flashback.A. The new version still poses as a Flash Player installer, but its creators have kicked things up a notch by instructing it to disable Apple’s automatic updating mechanism for its system-wide malware application, meaning that those who fall victim may never receive updates from Apple to remove the trojan.

Apple added some basic malware protections into Mac OS X in 2009 as part of 10.6 Snow Leopard, but the feature became more widely known after the great Mac Defender Scare of 2011. As part of a security update issued in May, Apple not only added the ability to detect the Mac Defender trojan and its variants, the company also made it possible for its software to automa