Mac News Review

Flashback Removal Update for OS X 10.5 Leopard, Dropbox Pick of the Cloud Litter, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.05.18

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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News & Opinion

Apple Releases Flashback Removal Security Update for OS X 10.5 Leopard

Obviously it wasn't considered a priority, but Apple has at last issued a Flashback Removal Security Update for OS X 10.5 Leopard.

The update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware. If the Flashback malware is found, a dialog will notify you that malware was removed. In some cases, the update may need to restart your computer in order to completely remove the Flashback malware.

To improve the security of your Mac, this update also disables the Java plugin in Safari. For instructions on how to re-enable it, visit: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT5241

System Requirements:

For information on the security content of this update, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Publisher's note: Although Apple's documentation doesn't say so, this too is only for Intel Macs. For a good overview of the recent Flashback menace, see April 2012 Virus Survey: The First Ever Large-scale Botnet for the Mac OS X, the Millionth Botnet for Windows and the Invasion of Trojan Coders in Europe on the Dr. Web website. The article reveals how low the infection rate is in the West, that nearly half of infections are Mac running OS X 10.6.8, and that 25% of infections are on Macs running OS X 10.5.8 Leopard, which this tool addresses. To our knowledge, the Flashback Trojan will not infect PowerPC Macs. dk

Dropbox the Pick of the Cloud Services Litter

Our own Charles W. Moore, writing for AppleTell, explains why he loves Dropbox:

"There's certainly no poverty of choice in cloud computing services these days."

"For my purposes, Dropbox has proved near-ideal."

"Dropbox remains my fave for several reasons, not least that it epitomizes the old Mac ideal of it 'just works.' From the time I first downloaded the Dropbox software for my various production machines, Dropbox has pretty much just worked, staying in the background and requiring no attention save for installing occasional software version upgrades.

"There has also been a certain default aspect to my affinity for Dropbox and Box.net, which is that they work with all of my production devices, including two old Pismo PowerBooks running OS X 10.4 that I still have in daily general dogsbody service."

Link: Why Dropbox Remains My Pick of the Cloud Services Litter

Products & Services

Kodak Hero 5.1 Wireless Color Printer

Kodak Hero 5.1 Wireless Color PrinterPR: Say good-bye to printing complexity and high ink costs. Say hello to the Kodak Hero 5.1 All-in-One Printer that lets you print from wherever you are via Google Cloud Print that gives you access from any computer, smartphone, or tablet, prints on both sides, tells you when your document will be ready, and even lets you create photos in 3D.

Kodak Hero 5.1 Wireless Color Printer Technical Details

  • Create, copy, scan, and print easily with the 2.4 in. color display
  • Auto two-sided printing
  • Print on the go from your smartphone, computer, or tablet using
  • Google Cloud Print enabled apps
  • Facial and Pet Eye Retouch
  • Wireless

List Price: $129.99

Software

WinOnX Lets You Run Windows Programs on Mac OS X without Buying Windows

PR: San Francisco based NES Software has announced the latest release of WinOnX, its application that enables users to run Microsoft Windows software on a Macintosh. The newest version, WinOnX 1.3, adds support for many additional Windows applications and a new program compatibility database that lets users quickly see how likely their program is to work with WinOnX and if there are any known issues. WinOnX 1.3 also offers the ability to launch multiple instances of a Windows program simultaneously and supports native Mac OS X open-file dialog.

Additionally, WinOnX 1.3 now includes automatic problem analysis claimed to make it fast and easy to diagnose and resolve errors, and the ability to rate, review and comment on program compatibility from the status bar. WinOnX is claimed to support over 70 percent of Windows programs, require no Windows boot time and features a low cost, easy setup.

The first release of WinOnX promised Mac users a way to run their critical Windows software without the complexity and cost of virtualization programs, purchasing additional licenses, time spent setting up Windows or resorting to the command line, and the developers say they delivered. WinOnX 1.3 expands on that promise by making the software more robust and easy to use, thanks to the application's improved full screen view and better multiple printer integration. A program compatibility database lets users know if application will run before purchase.

WinOnX is based on the latest version of the open source Wine library, version 1.4, and is claimed to launch faster than other virtual environments. Users simply install WinOnX 1.3, locate their Windows application, and double-click. No need to wait for virtual environments to load; once WinOnX is installed, users can launch their Windows apps directly with no extra steps, and at $4.99, WinOnX is an affordable way to have access to Windows software without leaving the Mac.

System Requirements: WinOnX requires Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later and at least 91.3 MB of space to install.

WinOnX 1.3 is priced at $4.99 and can be found in the Mac App Store.

Free Mac Malware Remover

PR: Mid Atlantic Consulting, Inc., in conjunction with Magican Software, has released Mac Malware Remover (MMR). If you're a parent, you know of the MMR Shot (measles, mumps, and rubella) that all children in the USA are required to get. So why not give your Mac some MMR too? Mac Malware Remover (MMR) will detect and remove all current Trojans for the Mac and will be updated to support new Trojans as they come out.

Flashback Trojans have become a hot topic among Mac users. According to the news, this virus has already infected more than 600,000 Mac computers. It means that the user's privacy may be stolen by other persons. The original version of this virus always masquerades as other useful applications, but the harm of the original version has its limitation, which need Mac users to install it on the Mac. However, the Mac computer may be infected by the latest version of Flashback Trojan very easily. If you have Java installed on your Mac and visit the website infected by Flashback Trojan, you will leave the marks on the website. This virus will request you fill in the administrative password, and then this virus will put an install package on your Mac. If you do not fill in the form, you are still infected by the virus and it will run at your current account. Flashback Trojan has threatened the information security of all Mac users, so most Mac users want to find a useful tool to prevent Macs from this malicious program. Since the Mac is a system known for having few viruses, there is limited software that can help Mac users resist with such a formidable program.

In this antivirus war, Mac users have found that some antivirus apps provided by third parties can kill the virus before Apple releases an update version to solve Flashback Trojans, but most of those apps can only check whether your Mac is infected or not and where the virus is. Magican AntiTrojan is one of few apps which can help users detect and remove Flashback Trojans in seconds. Moreover, this app is a free tool to share with all Mac users

MMR has already helped many Mac users get rid of the threat of Flashback Trojans. Besides protecting Mac from Flashback Trojans, it could also detect and delete MacKontrol, Sabpab, and Olyx from your Mac. In each update, it will enable users to check and remove more Trojans.

How do you check if your Mac is infected by Trojans? MMR is claimed to be very easy to use. You can complete the process by clicking two icons, "Start scan" and "Clean", and the whole process can be finished in seconds.

If you're worried that your Mac may be infected by something, this free MMR antivirus app will check whether your Mac is infected by Trojans, and keep updating to protect the security of your Mac.

New in version 1.1.3:

  • Misc Bug Fixes and text changes.
  • It still detects and removes Flashback, MacKontrol, Sabpab and Olyx.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Requires 64-Bit Intel Processor
  • All Users of v1.1.0 or 1.1.1 will have to manually update to 1.1.2 or later for AutoUpdate to work.

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