Feeling a bit skittish about using a mostly-hidden Mac OS X utility and running lines of code to see if your Mac is one of the 650,000-some infected with the Flashback malware? There's a new tool that's much simpler.
Dr. Web, the same Russian security firm that's been tracking the scope and scale of the Flashback malware's spread worldwide, now has a free, Web-based utility that will tell you if your machine has been compromised, and is -- in fact -- plugged into the botnet network.
In order to do this, it cross-checks your Mac's unique hardware with its own database of machines that have been compromised. If it doesn't find your machine, you're in the clear.
The process does include a very mild amount of tooling around your machine's System Information utility to find your Mac's UUID number, then copying and pasting it into a Web form, but that's all that's needed. Jeremiah Grossman, chief technology officer at White Hat Security, told CNET via e-mail that in normal situations, it's not a good idea to share your Mac's unique hardware identifier, but in this case it's safe. "Dr. Web already has a list of UUIDs, particularly of those who are infected. And that's all they are asking the user to supply to do a simple look-up. They don't seem to be asking for any personal information of any kind," he wrote.
Of course, if your machine is one of the unlucky ones affected, you have some work to do. For full removal instructions, read CNET's how-to.
Updated at 12:45 p.m. PT on April 9 with independent confirmation that Dr. Web's form is safe for people to use.