Say it ain’t so! After years of bashing PC’s and saying that Mac OSX is so secure, it is looking like Apple is wanting to include an Antivirus software included in their new release. Like my previous post indicated it seems like Apple has been seriously Xeroxing Microsoft’s playbook! Microsoft just released that they were going to be giving away free antivirus and now Apple seems like they have decided that they need it now too.
I just noticed a very intriguing post on Intego’s Mac Security Blog claiming that Apple’s upcoming operating system, Mac OS X v10.6 "Snow Leopard," will have built-in antivirus functionality. The following screenshot is alleged to show a system warning after downloading malware via Safari:
Intego’s blog post is sparse on details, but one thing that they haven’t explored is which antivirus engine Apple might be using behind the scenes. The only clue seems to be the name of the malware in the screenshot.
The name "OSX.RSPlug.A"—one of many names of a particular type of Mac-infecting malware—is used by Intego and Symantec, while Sophos and McAfee use different names (OSX/RSPlug-A and OSX/Puper.a, respectively).
ClamAV seems like a logcal engine for Apple to choose since it’s freely available and has been part of Mac OS X Server for years, but ClamAV doesn’t appear have a virus definition called OSX.RSPlug.A; it apparently only detects it as "OSX.RSPlug".
Since Intego obviously didn’t know about this until today, it’s clear that Apple didn’t license the technology from Intego. The only other company that appears to use the same malware name is Symantec. Could it be that Apple licensed Symantec’s virus scanning engine? Or could Apple have developed its own custom AV engine?
Regardless of whose engine is being used, it’s exciting is that Apple may be including anti-virus functionality in its next-gen consumer OS (if you believe the "reports" that Intego claims to have seen).