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New Malware Infects PC, Mac & Linux

malwareIt’s not often that a piece of malware targets all three major operating systems – Windows, Mac OSX and Linux – at once, but one audacious virus has tried just that.

This malware uses Java – a piece of software found on most computers – as a Launchpad to infect all three types of system.

While PCs, Macs and Linux systems are all vulnerable to the infection, new Mac computers running OSX don’t include Java by default, which means the most recent systems are safe from the infection.  OSX users can still download Java, however, which would leave them vulnerable.

There is one major caveat, however, which means Mac and Linux users are more secure than Windows ones: on those operating systems, users must be running their software in an uncommon and insecure way for the malware to do any damage. This means they’re much less likely to have it do damage to their computer.

Once infected, the malware will try to turn computers into botnet zombies – that is, to allow someone else to remotely controlled your system and use it to attack other websites. Scary, eh?

What can we learn from cross-platform infections?

This cross-platform malware reminds us all that no computer is entirely safe from malware, and therefore it’s up to security professionals and users to work together to ensure that people’s systems are secure.

One solution would be – as Apple is doing – is to dissuade people from using Java software. Java, however, is widely used in a lot of computers programs, and therefore removing it could create a lot of hassle for computer users and software developers alike.

A better solution is to ensure that computer users are well informed of what potential problems they could face when piloting their computer, and how best to avoid them.

Part of this means users need to know that their software has to stay up-to-date, or they could face malware-ridden consequences. This malware uses a Java vulnerability that was fixed in June 2013, so if you have updated since then, you’ll be immune from the dangers.

Of course, having up-to-date anti-malware software is also essential, so it’s important to ensure that your version of Norman Anti-Virus is fully up-to-date.

If you haven’t got Norman, you can try it out for free for 30 days by following this link: Norman Antivirus Free Trial

Not only will Norman’s anti-virus help prevent this type of infection, but it’ll also add anti-spyware, anti-spam, a firewall, privacy tools, an intrusion guard and parental control options for your computer. Simply fill in your name, email address and choose your country.

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