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Snow Leopard may be a "minor" update, but it's got plenty of big new features. Here's an inside Macworld Lab puts the new Mac OS One of the hidden features of Snow Leopard is a built-in system to protect Mac users from malware Both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard pack notable new features, large and small. We take a closer look Apple's latest OS, Snow Leopard, includes a revamped version of the company's venerable multimedia Services have been in OS X since the earliest days, but not many users take advantage of their Apple has posted a knowledge base document with list of software that is significantly incompatible In Snow Leopard, some System Preferences panes have been renamed, some have been reshuffled, others Several applications and utilities have been moved or gone missing in Mac OS X Rob Griffiths Senior systems administrator John C.

Welch has had a chance to use Snow Leopard and finds plenty to Snow Leopard.

10 years of Mac OS X malware

Leap-A malware: Complete Coverage Review: Inside Snow Leopard's under-the-hood Snow Leopard: QuickTime X Show More. How does it work? Does it work? What does it all mean?

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We must note a major weakness in this system. Apple's Installer uses two types of installation files: The former are simple package files, and the latter are meta-package files, which contain several packages, often for installations that contain multiple elements. It turns out that, in our tests, Apple's anti-malware function does not spot malware contained in. We tested a number of RSPlug Trojan horse samples in meta-package files, and no alerts displayed. However, some of the files contained in the meta-packages, when opened on their own, set off alerts. We mentioned above that there's a file called Exceptions.

Under Additions you can see the identifiers of the programs that Snow Leopard currently monitors for malware.

Mac OS X Viruses and Antiviruses

There are web browsers: Entourage, Seamonkey and Thunderbird. Any application that sets this key will benefit from Apple's quarantine protection, but that's up to individual developers. See Apple's developer documentation. Nevertheless, this doesn't apply to all types of files; for now, applications and other executables such as scripts are flagged, as are installer packages. Some other file types get flagged, but Trojan horses masquerading as files that are not applications can slip through the net. No FTP programs are protected, and no BitTorrent clients or other peer-to-peer programs, both types of which are common vectors of infection.

Escaping Browser Malware "Scan" on OS X

It should be pointed out that the Finder is not protected, so files copied from network volumes or removable media such as USB thumb drives are not scanned at all. In addition, Apple's function can neither repair infected files, nor repair damage that may have been made if a Mac is already infected.

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In fact, in this latter case, Apple won't even be able to tell you that your Mac is infected. Apple has stated that updates to the virus definition file, XProtect. To start with, only two Trojans are in the current definitions, which is far from sufficient given the extent of malware that threatens Macs.


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It's unclear whether Apple will wait for security updates to update that file, or whether there will be separate updates more often Apple issues security updates for Mac OS X about ten times a year on average. Commercial antivirus software benefits from frequent updates: Image Credit: The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more.

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