Flashback infection worse than Conficker?

Summary:Flashback could now be considered a pandemic larger than Conficker when you consider the number of Macs that are in use.

in brief Flashback could now be considered a pandemic larger than Conficker.

Blogger Ed Bott from ZDNet Australia's sister site ZDNet US has crunched the numbers and estimates that based on the 600,000 infected Macs, a number that has now been verified by a second research lab, about 1 per cent of all Macs have been infected.

If 1 per cent doesn't sound like much, it needs some comparison for scale. The largest infection to hit Windows machines was Conficker. Bott writes that although Conficker infected 7 million PCs at its prime, that represented 0.7 per cent of all Windows machines.

What that means is that users can, today, pick any Mac and it's more likely to be infected with Flashback than if, during Conficker's peak, they randomly selected a Windows machine and tested for Conficker. In other words, it's easier to target more Mac users than PC users.

What's worse is that Conficker took several years to evolve and, as of last year, still was responsible for about 1.7 million infections — Flashback only started targeting Macs relatively recently.

Topics: Apple, Security


A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.