Apple’s Snow Leopard Has a Malware Checker, but Functionality Is In Question

Aug 27, 2009
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Apple’s Snow Leopard Has a Malware Checker, but Functionality Is In Question

Whether you consider Apple notorious or glorious for having a relative lack of viruses and other malicious content available to ruin your machines, it looks like Apple has gone and done a little forward thinking in their ever-expanding market share, and officially included a virus checker with their upcoming release, Snow Leopard. But, how effective is it?

It's debatable if Apple (and Steve Jobs, incidentally) is admitting or suggesting that Apple is just as capable of receiving malicious content as Microsoft's Windows, and one that we're sure will be going on for quite some time. Either way, Apple's erected the first wall in defending against it, but as it turns out, that wall might be made of sticks, rather than stone. The included scanner can only detect two Trojan horses apparently, and both of them are quite old. "RSPlug.a" was first seen back in October 2007, and "lservice" which first came about in January. The shocking part is that the Snow Leopard anti-virus checker identifies these two Trojans as being brand new. In 2007, "RSPlug.a" made it to the news because it changed a machine's DSN (Domain Name System) settings, and redirected users to false sites. And lservice made its appearance on pirated copies of iWork '09, Apple's suite of productivity software. The first Trojan is old enough that it is hardly ever seen in the wild anymore.

Of course, due to software updates, Apple will be able to update the virus checker whenever they see fit, through their Software Update Service. Apple hasn't confirmed this to be a possibility, or an option, and there isn't any word on what this could cost. If it costs something at all, it would be quite the slap in the face to the consumer. Keeping your users safe, especially by a company that strives for usability and user experience, would be paramount to keeping Apple's squeaky-clean image amongst computer users.

[via TG Daily]


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