Thursday, August 27, 2009
Apple Confirms Anti-Malware Added to 'Snow Leopard'
One of Apple's stronger selling points has been its computers' seeming imperviousness to such threats. This is not the first time Apple has acknowledged the existence of malware, of course, but it may be the clearest example of such an acknowledgment.
Apple first introduced a feature called File Quarantine back in the days of OS X 10.4 Tiger. The same technology was also built into the next iteration of the software, OS X 10.5 Leopard. Apple is offering an "enhanced" version of the feature with this latest version, OS X 10.6, or "Snow Leopard," Apple confirmed.
Now File Quarantine pops up an alert the first time a potential piece of malware has been detected in Safari, iChat, or Mail.
"In these cases, rather than just advising the user that the file is an application, Snow Leopard provides a warning that the file contains known malware and suggests that the user move it to the Trash," Apple said in a statement. "For example, a bogus version of iWork circulated on the web a few months ago that contained malware. That particular malware is now automatically detected by File Quarantine. We see this as simply another example of the refinements users will find in Snow Leopard."
Apple creates the file signatures used by File Quarantine, and will be constantly updating signatures on its end, the company said.