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What is a Flashback malware alert

Recently, you may have received a letter or email from Virgin Media explaining we’ve been notified that a macOS (previously Mac OS X, later OS X) device on your network contains the malware Flashback. If you’ve received this note from us, please follow the advice on this page to fix the problem.

Overview

Flashback is a form of Trojan that specifically targets the macOS operating system.

The Flashback malware is designed to steal personal and financial information from infected devices. To ensure your personal and financial data isn’t compromised, you’ll need to follow the steps below to remove the malware as soon as possible.

What has happened?

We work with a number of not-for-profit organisations across the banking industry and security sectors that collate information on devices across the internet that are infected with malware. They’ve notified us that a macOS device on your home internet connection (or one connected to your home network) is infected with malware.

What can I do about it?

If you have a basic knowledge of computers and connected devices, there are a number of steps you can take to secure your home network.

Please follow these steps in order*:

Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date. Install software patches so that attackers can't take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates – if this option is available, you should enable it.

A software update was released for macOS that runs a Flashback removal tool, which removes the most common types of the Flashback malware. However, this security update wasn’t available on older versions of macOS as software updates are no longer supplied to these operating systems. It is therefore advised that people with older versions disable Java in their web browser’s preferences if it’s not needed.

The easiest way to do this is by using an online virus scanner. However, many major anti-virus providers along with Apple themselves provide Flashback detection and removal software. The official Apple removal tool, along with extra information, can be found at the following:

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1517?locale=en_GB **

Once the malware has been removed, you should change the passwords for all the online and email accounts you use.

If a malicious third party got hold of any of your passwords as a result of the malware infection, it‘s very likely they tried to or will try to use the same passwords across as many websites and online services as possible. This is in the hope that the same passwords are used for other accounts you use online.

When changing your passwords, it’s important you use different ones for all your online accounts and pick strong passwords that are difficult to guess. For more information on how to do that, please visit virginmedia.com/strongpassword.

 

To avoid future infections, we recommend turning on Virus Safe – available as part of our free Web Safe service. Web Safe will help you block access to websites known to be infected with or spread malware. To access Web Safe, just register or sign in to Your Account at virginmedia.com/myvirginmedia and select My Apps.

 

How do I know I’m now safe?

If you have followed the above advice and have rescanned your device and found it to be clean, you should have resolved the issue.

If you would like further advice or to verify that this is a genuine Virgin Media communication then our community will be happy to help. Just visit virginmedia.com/community, select 'Help forum' and join in the conversation on the Security Matters board.

Where can I find further information and advice?

You can find general security advice and articles on other vulnerabilities by checking Security Hub at virginmedia.com/securityhub.

Internet Matters

Virgin Media supports Internet Matters: a not-for-profit organisation working with online safety experts to bring you all the information you need to help keep your children safe online.

Note: This article is intended to provide advice. Virgin Media is not responsible for any issues encountered in the course of resolving the issue and is not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

* These fixes are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

** Links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and virgin media is not responsible for the content of these sites or any issues encountered as a result of  applying information from these sites. Virgin media are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.

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