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PC Tools releases iAntiVirus beta for Mac

updated 02:25 pm EDT, Sat June 28, 2008

IAntiVirus Beta released

Security software developer PC Tools has just released a beta of iAntiVirus, its first security software for the Mac. The company says iAntiVirus uses less memory and system resources than similar security applications because it ignores Windows viruses and only removes malware intended for the Mac. "Let's face it, malware is (now) a business," said Michael Greene, PC Tools Vice President of Product Strategy. He says rapid growth in Mac market share has made the platform a profitable target for organized identity theft.

While Mac viruses remain rare, Greene says, there has been a dramatic increase in "socially engineered" threats designed to trick users into allowing infected software onto their machines. Unlike traditional viruses created by amateur hackers, this new malware is more sinister. Invisible to the user, these low-level scripts can log keystrokes, capture screenshots or steal financial information without being detected.



The company, known for its Spyware Doctor application for the PC, admits the threat to Macs remains fairly low. But Greene points out that even Apple is recommending the use of anti-virus software in its Security Configuration Guides. And he says malware developers are well aware that more than half of all Windows users have some kind of anti-virus software, while few Mac users have it.

Greene says iAntiVirus was designed specifically for the Mac, and uses a simple interface with two basic controls: "scan my mac" and "protect my mac." It removes viruses, spyware, key-loggers, Trojans and "socially-engineered" malware that distributes stolen information through instant messaging and P2P file-sharing networks. Since iAntiVirus doesn't check for Windows viruses, the possibility remains that Mac users could spread malware to Windows machines. But that trade-off supposedly allows iAntiVirus to run "lighter and quicker" than other security software. No date has have been set for the final release of iAntiVirus, which requires an Intel Mac running OS X Leopard. The beta is free, but the company is selling one-year update subscriptions on its website for $30.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    "just released..."

    That's interesting. The download page says, "Release Date: April 30, 2008." Only about 2 months behind here, MacNN.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    re: "just released..."

    Well, if MacNN is late this time, so is MacUpdate, since they posted the download yesterday as well.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Anti Virus

    well if your going to install Anti Virus , 1/2 the reason may well be that you have PC's on your network so simply ignoring any PC viruses seems a bit backwards ...

  1. Paco01

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Half-baked solution

    I agree.

    The reason that I use an anti-virus program is because I have to prevent passing Windows PC viruses to my PC friends. This solution sounds like a half-baked solution to me.

    Maybe they are planning to add PC viruses scanning for additional costs...

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Who's making the money

    How does one make money making viruses for the Mac. Seems to me, the only people making money are the AntiVirus companies. Spread enough FUD, make some money.

  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    not even worth free

    Until there's an actual threat in the wild you are more likely to lose data to bugs in antivirus software than to catch a virus.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    ???

    And this is going to protect me from what?

    "While Mac viruses remain rare..."

    Hey Bozo, try non-existent.

  1. Tanker10a

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Mac Anti Virus

    Mac Anti Virus! What a concept?!?

  1. Drew Vinal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Intel Only

    I guess it is a matter of time before folks start spending time writing malicious code for the Mac, rather than doing something productive. PC Tools must perceive there are no threats to PPC Mac OS X users, since it is Intel only. The installer does not verify the target machine until the end of the install. I was curious if the installer checked.

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