Snow Leopard Antimalware Feature Gaining Publicity [Updated]

131726 snow leopard antimalware

As we briefly mentioned yesterday, antivirus vendor Intego notes that it has received multiple tips that Apple's forthcoming Snow Leopard operating system appears to contain at least some rudimentary antimalware capabilities. According to screenshots of warning dialog boxes submitted by Snow Leopard users, the operating system is able to warn users that a downloaded file contains malware, specifically the OSX.RSPlug.A Trojan Horse first discovered in October 2007.

We're not sure yet exactly how this works, but the above screen shot shows this feature working with a download made via Safari, detecting a version of the RSPlug Trojan horse in a downloaded disk image.

MacRumors received the first report of this Snow Leopard feature in February 2009, soon after the release of developer build 10A261. But while the feature appears to have been present in Snow Leopard builds since that time, little is known about the functionality and from where Snow Leopard is drawing its information for identifying malware.

Intego's posting regarding the feature implies that Apple is not licensing the information from that company, while ZDNet has confirmed that Apple is not using the open-source ClamAV engine. It is possible that Apple is licensing the functionality in part from another commercial antivirus company or developing its own system, but Apple has not revealed any details about the feature on its extensive security page for OS X Snow Leopard, referring only to the existing standard scan of downloaded files to determine if an application is included in a given package.

Update: The Register notes that Apple has simply included information on two Trojan Horses, OSX.RSPlug.A and OSX.Iservice, in one of Snow Leopard's system files, identified to MacRumors as the following:

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

While Apple could certainly update this file with identifying information for new threats that arise in the future, there does not appear to be a full-fledged antivirus package with regularly-updated virus definitions deployed in Snow Leopard.

Top Rated Comments

dwman Avatar
152 months ago
Exactly. The last two "Get a Mac" ads referred to "viruses and headaches." Not "malware",

I'm sure most people would consider malware a "headache" ;)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bytethese Avatar
152 months ago
No one with knowledge about macs has ever denied the fact that macs get viruses. It is just a marketing strategy of Apple to say they don't get viruses. But the fact is they are not effected by the same viruses that inflict damage on Windows systems.

Strange, I have knowledge of Macs yet I deny that they ever get viruses. Can they be carriers? Sure. But they do not get infected. Perhaps I don't exist...

On another note, it makes it ironic that Apple commissioned the Mac vs PC commercial where the security guy for Vista was saying "Cancel or Allow" and OS X will now be doing this. :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
greenhero Avatar
152 months ago
If they start acknowledging the very premise on which they've built their "Macs don't get viruses" message since 2006, MS fanboys will start howling at the perceived hypocrisy.

Time for a new ad campaign.:D

Personally I think the aple adverts should focus on the features Macs have rather than all the flaws windows pcs have. Because if you dont want the windows issues you install Linux for free. Yes the fanboys of PCS, mainly Dells have already started to stir up trouble. Personally I have a strong dislike of Dell machines.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...