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Remove Flashback virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Improved Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Trojans

Flashback virus – a malicious Trojan horse which targets Mac OS X users

Flashback virus

Flashback virus, also known as OSX.Flashback, Fakeflash, Flashback trojan, or Trojan BackDoor.Flashback. This fraudulent Trojan horse[1] affects Mac users and their computer systems only. Furthermore, Flashback virus was discovered several years ago – in 2011 by an antivirus organization named Intego. The dangerous infection uses a tricky Adobe Flash Player installer with the name “Flashback” in order to infiltrate the victims' computer systems.[2] It is very important to know that infections such as trojan ones are capable of secretly hiding on the infected machine and performing hazardous activity silently. Flashback trojan can also be very dangerous if kept on the system for a long time. A trojan infection can relate in many things such as the injection of other viruses, identity theft, program crashes or corruption, system sluggishness or unrepairable damage, high CPU and GPU usage, etc.

Name Flashback
Category Trojan horse
Other names OSX.Flashback, Fakeflash, Flashback trojan, or Trojan BackDoor.Flashback
First discovered In 2011 by a company named Intego
Latest version BackDoor.Flashback.39
OS infected Mac OS X
Technique used The threat infiltrates the computer system by using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer named “Flashback”
Symptoms Malicious components injected, high CPU/GPU usage, software crashes, system struggles, etc.
Distribution sources Malware-laden websites, rogue email attachments, etc. 
Removal process Use reputable tools for the removal only. Moreover, install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to find all dangerous files and other components in the Mac computer system 

Talking about April 2012, when the Trojan horse was first launched, it made attempts against numerous Mac users worldwide. According to research, most people that were infected lived in The United States – about 56%, after that in Canada – 19.8%, United Kingdom – 12.8%, and in Australia – 6.1%. Furthermore, the trojan was modified into a more modern one called BackDoor.Flashback.39 and discovered in April 2017.[3]

A report claimed that this dangerous virus infected numerous Mac machines by creating a botnet which contains 274 bots. This variant targeted Java vulnerabilities which were found on the Mac PC. Moreover, the trojan injected a malicious executable to be able to run a specific code from a remote server. Additionally, this version of the Flashback virus was able to infect only those users who visited the malware-laden website.[4]

As we can see, Flashback virus is an extremely malicious trojan which has been active for several years. Such infections can cause unrepairable damage to your computer system or even relate in sensitive data losses. Even though Trojan horses do not show any particular symptoms, sometimes they can be identified from these signs:

  • the CPU and GPU usage has increased highly recently;
  • various programs start crashing or fail while loading;
  • you have found unrecognizable components or files inside the system;
  • computer sluggishness has appeared.

If you spot the beforementioned symptoms, make sure you remove Flashback virus from the system as soon as possible. For this purpose, you should use only reliable and expert-tested computer security tools that will complete the process effectively. Furthermore, make sure that all malware-laden components are also found. For this, we suggest downloading and installing a computer program such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Flashback Trojan horse
Flashback virus - a Trojan horse which enters the computer system as a fake Adobe Flash Player.

Performing the Flashback trojan removal requires a big variety of skills. This is the main reason why the Trojan horse cannot be eliminated by using manual technique. If you decide to get rid of the dangerous computer infection on your own, you might cause even more trouble or damage the system. However, it is advisable to boot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking that might help you to disable some malicious activities.

Flashback virus seems to be extremely malicious as it is very hard to terminate. According to cybersecurity researchers, once the malicious attacks had emerged in the past years, Apple decided to release Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which would be a way to deal with the dangerous malware and would be available not only on Mac but also on other operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Solaris. However, the release did not come out and did not stop the trojan from infecting numerous Mac users in 2014.[5]

Flashback trojan
Flashback trojan - a malicious virus which infects Mac users.

Trojan avoiding methods

According to the specialists' team from, Trojan horses can be distributed in a few ways. The most common distribution sources are malware-laden websites, phishing email campaigns, and rogue attachments. Even though these cyber threats are extremely sneaky, you can take some precautionary measures to avoid them from infiltrating your Mac or Windows computer:

  • install all recommended updates, do not keep any not-updated software on your computer;
  • do not open any rogue files or documents that come clipped to spam messages;
  • avoid entering unrecognizable links or visiting questionable pages;
  • do not download any programs or components that do not come from original websites;
  • install updates from your operating system ONLY from authorized web pages.

Furthermore, a good option would be to purchase a reliable anti-malware program. Our suggestion would be not to be afraid to invest in a truly reputable and effective tool. Remember that the antivirus needs to be updated once in a while. If taken care of properly, the computer security software will allow you to perform regular system scans and alert if some malicious components are found.

Remove OSX.Flashback

Once spotted in the Mac operating system, the trojan infection needs to be removed ASAP. To remove Flashback virus, you will need to lean on reputable antivirus tools that will complete the process effectively. Moreover, we recommend installing a system optimization program such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego that will detect various rogue objects such as malware-laden components, outdated registry entries, and increase the speed of your computer's work.

After you perform the Flashback trojan removal, make sure that you perform some system backups. This action will ensure you that the cyber threat was eliminated successfully and is no longer active in the system. Furthermore, do not forget to memorize all trojan avoiding techniques. Perform such steps in the feature to avoid similar infections and keep your Mac or Windows computer safe from damage.

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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Flashback virus, follow these steps:

Remove Flashback using Safe Mode with Networking

Turn on the Safe Mode with Networking function to deactivate the dangerous computer virus:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Flashback

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Flashback removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Flashback using System Restore

Activate System Restore on your computer system by following these below-given steps:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Flashback. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Flashback removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Flashback and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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