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Report: New Snow Leopard security features still limited

updated 08:50 pm EDT, Wed September 2, 2009

Intego takes a closer look at OS X anti-malware

Mac security company Intego has taken a closer look at the limitations of Apple's new anti-malware features in the recent Snow Leopard update. The new security functions, noticed by developers shortly before the public release, alert users to malicious code found in downloaded files.

Although Apple's malware detection codes flag certain downloads from the Internet, the operating system still allows local file transfers to be completed without scanning the data. The system also ignores any meta-package files, even if they might contain viruses.

The integrated Snow Leopard protection allegedly looks for just two Trojan viruses, despite the wider range of known threats, while certain variations of the most popular Trojans also slip through without any problem. In its current form, the features are limited to preventative detection and offer no solution for infected Macs.

As Mac OS X security features are still in the beginning stages of development, Apple did not boast of a comprehensive anti-malware system when the OS update was introduced. It remains unknown if the company plans to expand the capabilities and scope of the integrated anti-virus functionality. In the meantime, the most complete protection is available through third-party software.

Graham Cluley of Sophos claims Apple took a step backward with Snow Leopard security, despite the virus scanner. The OS update reportedly downgrades Adobe Flash to an earlier version, leaving the system vulnerable to a variety of threats that have already been patched with the latest release.

"Mac users who have been diligent enough to keep their security up-to-date do not deserve to be silently downgraded," Cluley wrote on his blog. Users can visit Adobe's dedicated test site to view their Flash version.

by MacNN Staff



  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great Ad, Intego!

    c*** the only thing missing was a coupon at the end with a link to buy the product. Game, set and match for the Intego PR department. Unless of course they PAID the MacNN editors to push it.

    I'll tell you what: I don't know if Snow Leopard's security measures are enough for me or not. But I do know this: Articles citing evidence from companies who stand to gain from it are immediately a red flag to me. I won't be buying any protection based on this shill, and neither should anybody else.

    The Sucker Being Born Every Day rule is not evident at MacNN.

  1. infowarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    you said it


    Talk about self-serving press releases. But then again, as a career (15 yr) infosec person, this is sadly the name of the game for many security product vendors. :(

  1. lowededwookie

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Flash is version 10.

    Is there a later version of Flash out there?

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't need any virus/malware protection, so I don't care if it checks for anything or not. s**** Intego.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    All the release is saying is that people noticed there's some mal-ware checking in the OS, and they're detailing what it seems to do and not do. Esp. since Apple has made no mention of it, some people might think that, reading some previous report, Apple has complete built-in malware protection.

    And where's the advertisement that you're whining about? Everything they say is technically true, and mostly untilted to one side or the other.

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