Technically, the Flashback botnet that's left more than a half million Apple users at risk for identity theft is a Trojan or malware package - not a computer virus - but that's probably small comfort to you if you just found out your life savings were just emptied into an overseas account that's now in the hands of criminals.
Not knowing can be pretty disconcerting too.
And if you're an Apple user, you should be concerned.
According to published reports, at least 600,000 Apple computers have been infected with software that could give scammers access to your most sensitive personal information, meaning you or someone you know is likely affected.
Apple has released a patch that should protect those whose personal information hasn't yet been compromised.
But you still probably want to know if your personal information is or ever was at risk.
You can do so by following these simple steps.
Open the Terminal box, which you can do so by typing in the word "Terminal" (no quotes) in the Spotlight search bar (click the magnifying glass icon on top right corner of your screen to open Spotlight).
Then, type in the following commands (hitting the return key after each one).
defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
defaults read /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
If the response to your commands is "does not exist," then consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
If not, you'll want to take immediate action.
Instructions for removing this malicious code are explained in this CNET article.
If these instructions seem too complicated, then you'll want to find someone who knows how to remove malicious software who can help you.
If you have any reason to suspect you might be an identity theft victim, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency to report this crime.
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