Malware detection in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Recently, there have been Trojan horses and other malware that have cropped up for OS X, and while for the most part they have just been a source of frustration, they pose a security risk. Apple has put some effort into malware detection in Snow Leopar

Written by Topher Kessler

Recently, there have been Trojan horses and other malware that have cropped up for OS X, and while for the most part they have just been a source of frustration, they pose a security risk. Apple has put some effort into malware detection in Snow Leopard, and users should see some form of warning when they've encountered a program or installer that contains a virus, Trojan horse, or other malware.

According to The Register, when you download a file or open a DMG image, the detector will scan it and issue a warning stating the file might damage your computer, along with some options for canceling or continuing to open the file.

This functionality is implemented by a new "XProtect" routine in Snow Leopard, but it is uncertain whether Apple has contracted known malware detector technologies or has implemented a new detection algorithm of their own. Similar to what Microsoft has done with various malware detection projects, this may be the start of Apple's own antivirus software, but could also be a framework for implementing any antivirus suite such as ClamXAV, Sophos, and others. It would be nice to have a well-implemented form of malware detection that can make use of various detection engines, since it is likely that as OS X increases in popularity that more malware will crop up, but we will see how this develops.

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Topher has been an avid Mac user for the past 10-15 years, and has been a contributing author to MacFixIt for just over a year now. One of his diehard passions has been troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware both for family and friends, as well as in the workplace. He and the newly formed MacFixIt team are hoping to bring enhanced and more personable content to our readers, and keep the MacFixIt community going here at CNET. If you have questions or comments for Topher or the other MacFixIt editors, feel free to contact us at http://www.macfixit.com/contact

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