Snow Leopard to warn Apple users of malware - reports

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Only days before the launch of Apple's upcoming operating system upgrade, Snow Leopard, numerous online reports have alleged that the final build includes an anti-malware feature.



Apple's advertisements often boast that their systems are virus-free. While Mac OS X has had a number of widely reported vulnerabilities, despite being well-publicized, they never amounted to much.



Still, in this latest move, if true, it would appear that Apple is not taking its chances, and will provide users with a system that scans files for potential malware. In a screenshot that has been widely circulated, originating from the intego Mac Security Blog, Snow Leopard is shown to recommend that a .DMG file be moved to the trash. The OS claims that the file includes "OSX.RSPlug.A" malware.



That Trojan horse, which was discovered in 2007, runs on OS X and changes the system's DNS settings. It is easily removed and does little damage.



Writing for ZDNet's Zero Day security blog, Ryan Naraine states that Apple is not using the open source ClamAV engine. He believes Apple may have contracted with a third-party antivirus company for the reported new Snow Leopard feature.







If true, the anti-malware inclusion in Snow Leopard would mean that both Apple and Microsoft will soon officially offer some sort of free system-wide protection for their respective operating systems. Microsoft's "Morro" is expected sometime this year.



Late last year, some noticed that Apple began encouraging the use of antivirus for Mac OS X, though the company later removed that support note.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    I'd take anything from intego with a grain of salt.



    There's nothing to protect against. But I suppose an ounce of prevention, as they say . . .



    This all assumes the rumour is in fact true.
  • Reply 2 of 68
    Yeah... This is a teflon coating over the armor...
  • Reply 3 of 68
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    He believes Apple may have contracted with a third-party antivirus company for the reported new Snow Leopard feature.




    Would they have had to have contracted with a 3rd party? Mac threats are so few and far between, they could probably just maintain it themselves if all they are doing is looking for Mac threats and not also checking for Windows threats that might end up on your Mac.



    It may also not be "system-wide" and only part of the disc image mounting utility.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    I think Apple states so themselves.



    http://www.apple.com/macosx/security/



    Quote:

    Security Advice

    The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection



  • Reply 5 of 68
    t0mat0t0mat0 Posts: 58member
    Might want to update the article, seeing as Apple update its info to basically confirm this.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    Quote:

    Late last year, some noticed that Apple began encouraging the use of antivirus for Mac OS X, though the company later removed that support note.



    Come on, AI. It was WIDELY reported that that note was in reference to OS 9, was horrendously out of date, and it only resurfaced because it was updated. It's reference in this article is dubious at best.



    Get it together.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Been running various versions of macosx for over 8 years now, never once caught a virus or spyware, and I am not running antivirus programs or such.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    They recommend it mostly to protect other PCs, while a Mac may not be affected by the virus, a virus can still be transmitted to computers that are affected. Word Macro Viruses are easily shared between Macs and PCs.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    denmarudenmaru Posts: 208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Only days before the launch of Apple's upcoming operating system upgrade, Snow Leopard, numerous online reports have alleged that the final build includes an anti-malware feature.



    So, is 10A322 the final build, or not?!
  • Reply 10 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    I'd take anything from intego with a grain of salt.



    There's nothing to protect against. But I suppose an ounce of prevention, as they say . . .



    This all assumes the rumour is in fact true.



    Of course there is.



    Ballmer is usually an utter 'tard but recently said that security problems are going to arise from third-party programs. Really, Mr Ballmer, you just noticed?!



    That being said, there really isn't all that much Microsoft or Apple can do to protect people from themselves. Socially engineering is superior to antivirus/malware software. People too often think "I'm protected" because this software will protect them.
  • Reply 11 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    They recommend it mostly to protect other PCs, while a Mac may not be affected by the virus, a virus can still be transmitted to computers that are affected. Word Macro Viruses are easily shared between Macs and PCs.



    DIdn't MS excise Visual Basic from the Mac years ago? Most macros are based on VB, aren't they?
  • Reply 12 of 68
    takeotakeo Posts: 415member
    15 years using Macs without any protection at all. Never a single virus. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to have protection.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    Where exactly did you say this image came from? A company dying to get Mac users hooked on their useless anti-virus software that where. The warning does not look like an Apple conceived message with the three odd options buttons nor the text for that matter. Apple should sue them for spreading FUD.

    I did not hear of one report from all the early reviews of 10.6 regarding this "feature".
  • Reply 14 of 68
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kerryb View Post


    Where exactly did you say this image came from? A company dying to get Mac users hooked on their useless anti-virus software that where. The warning does not look like an Apple conceived message with the three odd options buttons nor the text for that matter. Apple should sue them for spreading FUD.

    I did not hear of one report from all the early reviews of 10.6 regarding this "feature".



    Was my feeling as well.



    We'll see. Seems suspicious, though.



    Intego.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    svnippsvnipp Posts: 430member
    Well, I'm certainly not going to be upset if Apple is including something like this in the new OS X. Personally, I think that NO OS is immune, and as Apple continues to gain market share it will become a more attractive target. I always tell people that Mac's aren't immune to viruses, it's just that Unix is an inherently more secure OS than anything ever developed in Redmond.



    Anyway, I converted myself to a Mac about 18 months ago. Switched over the mother-in-law about 4 months ago. One of the brothers-in-law has told me now that his next computer is going to be a Mac, especially if AutoDesk will get AutoCad running natively under Mac OS X. And, I've definitely decided that the next computer I get my parents will be a Mac. I'm doing my part. I'm also toying around with the idea of converting the mother-in-law's old HP to a Hackintosh, I'll pay for the OS of course.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    The image comes from an Intego blog.



    http://blog.intego.com/2009/08/25/sn...-an-antivirus/
  • Reply 17 of 68
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    They recommend it mostly to protect other PCs, while a Mac may not be affected by the virus, a virus can still be transmitted to computers that are affected. Word Macro Viruses are easily shared between Macs and PCs.



    Here's another thought: Potential switchers who grew up in a world infected need the

    security blanket of anti-virus/anti-malware whether it's truly necessary or not. They

    simply can't buy the "no virus can harm it" line, so Apple gives them something that

    looks familiar.



    Stealth marketing . . .
  • Reply 18 of 68
    This feature isn't a rumor, it's specifically mentioned on Amazon.



    From Amazon's lengthy description of snow leopard:



    Defense against viruses and malware.

    Innocent-looking files downloaded over the Internet may contain malicious applications, or malware, in disguise. That's why files you download using Safari, Mail, and iChat are screened to determine if they contain applications. If they do, Mac OS X alerts you, then warns you the first time you open one. You decide whether to open the application or cancel the attempt. And Mac OS X can use digital signatures to verify that an application hasn't been changed since it was created.
  • Reply 19 of 68
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post


    15 years using Macs without any protection at all. Never a single virus. But I guess it wouldn't hurt to have protection.



    Gee- do you think if you were designing a virus, would you go after the 10% that utilize "creative" apps- photo layout, book & magazine publishing, CG movie and video designers, etc, etc, etc? Or would you go after the other 90% that utilize the world's finance, business, technology databases, etc, etc, etc? Not for nothing, there are other reasons Macs don't get many viruses besides the "stability" of OSX.
  • Reply 20 of 68
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fragilex View Post


    This feature isn't a rumor, it's specifically mentioned on Amazon.



    From Amazon's lengthy description of snow leopard:



    Defense against viruses and malware.

    Innocent-looking files downloaded over the Internet may contain malicious applications, or malware, in disguise. That's why files you download using Safari, Mail, and iChat are screened to determine if they contain applications. If they do, Mac OS X alerts you, then warns you the first time you open one. You decide whether to open the application or cancel the attempt. And Mac OS X can use digital signatures to verify that an application hasn't been changed since it was created.



    So much for the haters that were doggin' on intego for being a "hater"
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