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Apple Adds Malware Blocker to Snow Leopard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments
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Word on the street is Apple has added malware protection to Snow Leopard.

A lot of Apple fans boast about how their computer might be expensive, but at least they don't have to bother with any antivirus or malware protection. However, it seems those days are over as Apple has added malware protection to the latest version of its OS, OSX 10.6 or Snow Leopard.

First reported by Intego, the Register reports that the protection was quietly added earlier this month to build 10A432, which is the most recent build of Snow Leopard. However, the Reg goes on to cite a source that said the functionality was included in 10A421a, a much earlier build.

The feature is said to warn users if they try to install applications known to be malicious. However, according to the Register's anonymous source, it's quite limited; for one, it's only checking for two known Mac trojans, and two, it only flags those files if they were downloaded from the internet using Entourage, iChat, Safari, and a handful of other applications.

It might not be much, but it's definitely a step away from the belief that Mac users don't have to worry about viruses.

Image Credit: Intego

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    dman3k , August 26, 2009 5:56 PM
    And I thought Mac's get NO virus and have NO bugs...
  • 15 Hide
    cadder , August 26, 2009 6:38 PM
    Apple will keep boasting until some virus authors start to take it as a challenge.
  • 15 Hide
    tmike , August 26, 2009 6:20 PM
    Certainly far far fewer of them target Macs. But on the other hand, in 30 years I've never had a virus on any of my own systems, Apple or otherwise, unless it was a virtual machine that I intentionally infected in order to write removal tools for clients. Authors of malware would fail miserably but for the users who aid proliferation.
Other Comments
    Display all 35 comments.
  • 19 Hide
    dman3k , August 26, 2009 5:56 PM
    And I thought Mac's get NO virus and have NO bugs...
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 6:04 PM
    Don't think Apple ever claimed that they got now virus and no bugs. They instead say windows has LOTS of malware/virus to deal with.
  • 12 Hide
    Core2uu , August 26, 2009 6:14 PM
    pitashenDon't think Apple ever claimed that they got now virus and no bugs. They instead say windows has LOTS of malware/virus to deal with.


    And if OSX had 90%+ of the global desktop marketshare, Microsoft could say the exact same thing.
  • 15 Hide
    tmike , August 26, 2009 6:20 PM
    Certainly far far fewer of them target Macs. But on the other hand, in 30 years I've never had a virus on any of my own systems, Apple or otherwise, unless it was a virtual machine that I intentionally infected in order to write removal tools for clients. Authors of malware would fail miserably but for the users who aid proliferation.
  • 5 Hide
    grieve , August 26, 2009 6:22 PM
    Core2uuAnd if OSX had 90%+ of the global desktop marketshare, Microsoft could say the exact same thing.

    Exactly.
  • 4 Hide
    doc70 , August 26, 2009 6:22 PM
    A "great " app indeed; guys at Apple are either irresponsible or too cocky to come up with such a limited product when it comes to malware protection. That's why I would never use a Mac to deal with any of my personal data...
  • 13 Hide
    grieve , August 26, 2009 6:24 PM
    tmikeCertainly far far fewer of them target Macs. But on the other hand, in 30 years I've never had a virus on any of my own systems, Apple or otherwise, unless it was a virtual machine that I intentionally infected in order to write removal tools for clients. Authors of malware would fail miserably but for the users who aid proliferation.

    Target windows with 90% of all computer users being potential victims?
    OR
    Target Macs with 4% (guess) of all computer users being potential victims?

    If i were spending the time to code a virus i would certainly make it for Windows...
  • 15 Hide
    cadder , August 26, 2009 6:38 PM
    Apple will keep boasting until some virus authors start to take it as a challenge.
  • 4 Hide
    hellwig , August 26, 2009 6:40 PM
    First Apple tells its customers they don't need such software. Then they release their own software, tied into their OS. How is this not antitrust? Man, I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but come on, won't someone bring Apple to justice?

    That said, this just sounds like "Malicious Software Removal Tool Mac Edition" to me.
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , August 26, 2009 6:57 PM
    hellwigFirst Apple tells its customers they don't need such software. Then they release their own software, tied into their OS. How is this not antitrust? Man, I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but come on, won't someone bring Apple to justice?That said, this just sounds like "Malicious Software Removal Tool Mac Edition" to me.


    False adv, maybe... anti-trust?... na... OSX or MAC's market share is not even over 50% if not 15%...
    By the way, they were kind of right on what they said... because instead of having users install the software... they quitely add the software in the OS (though the power of the software appears to be kind of limited)...lol
  • -1 Hide
    hakesterman , August 26, 2009 7:13 PM
    Tmike your full of crap. There is no way in hell you have gone 30 years useing a pc on the internet and never got a virus. BS. Now if you want to say you have never got a virus that caused serious damage to your PC then i might believe you, otherwise i'm calling you a out right lier. Antivirus programs if used proper can catch most viruses but 30 years useing innternet without a virus, give me a break.



  • 1 Hide
    blackened144 , August 26, 2009 7:32 PM
    Last I heard Apple had actually said that their users should run 2 anti-virus's to be safe.
  • 1 Hide
    Transmaniacon , August 26, 2009 7:33 PM
    Welcome to the club.
  • 0 Hide
    deltatux , August 26, 2009 7:54 PM
    At least Mac users don't have to feed AV companies? I don't know, I run antivirus software in all my computers, Windows or not, it's there just in case. There's no OS that's safe from virus.
  • 4 Hide
    tenor77 , August 26, 2009 7:55 PM
    Everytime I see the dmg extension I think "Damage".

    Somewhere someone is taking this as a challenge.
  • 4 Hide
    sot010174 , August 26, 2009 7:57 PM
    I think Symantec should sue them, as did the EU with the browser thing.
  • 0 Hide
    caskachan , August 26, 2009 7:59 PM
    hahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahah


  • 3 Hide
    lifelesspoet , August 26, 2009 8:10 PM
    I wasn't one who said macs are immune to such attacks. While there are security improvements they got from the bsd derived base, its no means bulletproof. That said, I think whether your os is riddled with malware or not there should at least be some level of protection bundled. Microsoft has released a product awhile back and now so has Apple. I'm a belt and suspenders kinda guy, so I think security should have 2 levels and obscurity isn't one of them.
    Now, I think its time for consumer linux distros to start considering bundling similiar software in their iso's.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 8:28 PM
    lifelesspoet: Linux doesn't need anti-malware, not because of limited market share, but by design. Windows and to a lesser extent, OSX, pretty much sell you a house with no doors, and expect you to hire security guards(antivirus and firewall) to examine everything coming in and out. Linux sells you a house with doors that lock, it pretty much cock-blocks any opportunity to execute code remotely. Combined with large package repositories with trusted open-source software, there's no reason to go to shady freeware sites to download applications. Closed-source is the enemy here, not market share.
  • 1 Hide
    waffle911 , August 26, 2009 8:35 PM
    It's one thing when you integrate an unintrusive virus-prevention safeguard into an OS. But I have to question it's effectiveness if it only works on files downloaded through certain programs, and only checks for two known threats.
    It's another when it's an add-on program that requires a subscription and isn't natively part of the OS that runs in the background sucking up resources while overreacting to every little thing that changes. (I realize there are good free options available, but the average consumer wouldn't know about them.)
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