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Report That OS X Snow Leopard May Include Antivirus

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the pinch-salt-toss-over-shoulder dept.

Security 335

File this firmly in the "rumor" category for now. the JoshMeister writes (in the third person) "Mac antivirus company Intego broke the story this morning that Apple is apparently including antivirus functionality in its upcoming operating system, Snow Leopard. But which antivirus engine is Apple using? Security researcher Joshua Long discusses the likely candidates."

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335 comments

Virus on MAC ? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29191663)

bah, what respectful virus author targets anything but the Microsoft OS ?

Re:Virus on MAC ? (-1, Troll)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191753)

The "virus"mentioned in the screen shot isn't much of a virus [macworld.com]. It's a trojan that only installs if you're stupid enough to download a program from a dodgy source (after browsing for porn) and install it after entering your admin password (which anybody who uses a mac knows means it's installing itself systemwide).

Re:Virus on MAC ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29191791)

A few highlights from TFA:
 

  • The submitter is a pompous queer.
  • Apple users are pompous queers.
  • Snow leopard uses the Symantec A/V engine, so it is 200% slower.
  • Macs do get viruses, so Steve Jobs is a goddamn liar
  • Steve Jobs tried to have me killed so he could get my liver
  • Snow leopard is to regular leopard as Vista is to XP.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191831)

>It's a trojan that only installs if you're stupid enough to download a program from a dodgy source

Err, thats pretty much the biggest vector for malware. Pick any popular app for Windows, go to pirate bay, download it, run it, and guess what? You have an infection.

Storm botnet was built by people double-clicking greetingcard.exe.

Dont underestimate people's abilities to go out of their way to find malware to run. You'll find tha you dont need to exploit any vulnerability other than ignorant on the user's part to root the machine.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191931)

Pick any popular app for Windows, go to pirate bay, download it, run it, and guess what? You have an infection.

Really? I must not be trying hard enough then. And I thought my ratio was bad now...

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192047)

Pick any popular app for Windows, go to pirate bay, download it, run it, and guess what? You have an infection. Really? I must not be trying hard enough then. And I thought my ratio was bad now...

Its not quite THAT bad, but I do agree that this is the number one way of getting the nasties on your computer. The thing that bothers me is when I start to wonder what percentage of mac users there are out there that will pompously go to whatever sites they feel like, downloading and installing whatever software they feel like, on the basis that "Mac's don't get viruses." This is a step in the right direction. I applaud the idea of the built-in virus protection. Hopefully it comes out more useful than the Windows Malicious File removal tool.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (0)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192467)

The thing that bothers me is when I start to wonder what percentage of mac users there are out there that will pompously go to whatever sites they feel like, downloading and installing whatever software they feel like, on the basis that "Mac's don't get viruses."

Hmm, unless you have to clean up their mess, why do you care so much?

Also, from my limited experience with Macs and Mac users, it seems like they aren't the type to be dissatisfied with what they have and go exploring for exciting downloads, but maybe I've gotten the wrong impression. It seems like they buy Macs for the very reason that they don't like 'exploring' and want something that 'just works'.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192597)

Have you seen the obscene amount of Mac shareware out there? Don't get me wrong a lot of stuff does "just work" on the Mac, but a lot of niches aren't filled, and it seems like while on Windows you're likely to find spyware infested free programs, and on Linux you're likely to find reputable OSS programs, on Mac you better be prepared to pay $20 a pop for all those little apps. Maybe I'm just being naive, but it doesn't seem like they'd all be around if some significant chunk of mac users weren't downloading and buying these programs.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (2, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191953)

In that light, anti-virus software seems like a losing battle. I was going to suggest we build an OS for people to stupid to close their own mouths, but I think that's really missing the mark. That's just dealing with passive stupidity. Active stupidity is a much harder problem to tackle....

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192085)

>It's a trojan that only installs if you're stupid enough to download a program from a dodgy source

Err, thats pretty much the biggest vector for malware. Pick any popular app for Windows, go to pirate bay, download it, run it, and guess what? You have an infection.

Sure, but on a mac most installs consist of dragging a piece of software (app folder) to a location of your choice. System files common to all users are only affected if and only if you give an app permission via a password. If you download something from TPB and it asks to run an installer, sure, there's a risk, but most apps are just drag n drop to install. In windows pretty much everything has an installer and it's anybody's guess what it does.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (5, Insightful)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192335)

I wouldn't put too much faith in "drag to install", because most malware doesn't actually need system privledges.

Also, reportedly websites have figured out how to make Safari automatically download this trojan and then launch the installer program. Users still need to enter their password, but having the dialog automatically popup makes the social engineering step that much easier.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (2, Informative)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192535)

Safari will do this for installer packages and mount .dmg files if "Open safe files after opening" is enabled.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192747)

I wouldn't put too much faith in "drag to install", because most malware doesn't actually need system privledges.

Sure, but then it's quarantined to the specific user.

Also, reportedly websites have figured out how to make Safari automatically download this trojan and then launch the installer program. Users still need to enter their password, but having the dialog automatically popup makes the social engineering step that much easier.

Source? I think this might have been true with older versions of OSX or Safari but i'm not sure it still works. I use firefox and even still whenever I download something and want to run it it reminds me that it's downloaded from the Internet and might not be safe (even when it's not installed system-wide).

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192093)

A horse is a four legged animal, but a four legged animal is not necessarily a horse, or a cat would be a horse. Trojans and viruses are both malware, but a trojan isn't a virus unless it is self replicating.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192317)

I thought that Trojans were made to prevent the replication of those huge two-legged viruses.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192145)

It's a trojan that only installs if you're stupid enough to download a program from a dodgy source

Err, thats pretty much the biggest vector for malware. Pick any popular app for Windows, go to pirate bay, download it, run it, and guess what? You have an infection.

On Windows , sure. Because anything you click in Windows just executes, and the only thing standing between it and your system is a UAC prompt (unless UAC is turned off, as it is on many systems I see). On a Mac you cannot install malware system wide merely by clicking on it, in spite of the shrieking of MS shills everywhere these days.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192751)

You're an idiot.

Amen (4, Insightful)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192259)

There was a guy who was studying technical writing at my university. He uninstalled his anti-virus software because it was preventing him from installing some free software he wanted.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192073)

The "virus"mentioned in the screen shot isn't much of a virus [macworld.com]. It's a trojan that only installs if you're stupid enough ...

I could put Ubuntu on a netbook and give it to my sister and she'd have no clue how to use it. But you can bet every last cent that if the source code to a virus was presented to her she would have it compiled (with all the right flags set to target her correct OSX version) and installed in a few minutes. It's borderline magic. Did you know they have LimeWire on Macs now? She managed to find that, install it and learn how to use it on her own but didn't have a clue as to how to move pictures from her old Windows machine to her MacBook. If only curing cancer compromised your computer, she'd have that done in a heart beat.

I knew she would be better off with a mac but your statement of "anybody who uses a Mac knows" makes me cringe. Bottom line: do not underestimate stupidity.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192191)

I knew she would be better off with a mac but your statement of "anybody who uses a Mac knows" makes me cringe. Bottom line: do not underestimate stupidity.

Good point. Apple should probably be more explicit about what it entails when you are asked for your admin password and the risks associated.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192275)

I agree. And MacOSX does not typically market to the technical or sophisticated user. Sure, some are, but that's not what built Apple's reputation for "easy and just works." Technical and sophisticated users know that "easy" and "just works" usually means inflexible and not adaptable. So what portion of Mac users would be likely to fall for tricks and gimmicks to get people to install the software themselves? Not unlike Windows, MOST of them. "Wanna see a Hot or Funny or Sad or Important or Secret video? You gotta install this video player/codec to make it work!"

Re:Virus on MAC ? (3, Insightful)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192345)

Yet, the technical or sophisticated user tends to go with a Mac. Why is that? Don't believe me? Visit a developer's conference.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192433)

Whatever, Apple's marketing targets unsophisticated users ("Ellen Feiss"), get over it and stop being such a defensive little macfaggot.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192577)

Yet, the technical or sophisticated user tends to go with linux. Why is that? Don't believe me? Visit a developer's conference

There, fixed that for ya :P

Re:Virus on MAC ? (2, Insightful)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192303)

Apple needs to stop marketing itself as immune from viruses. They have never been immune, just not targeted and fortunately better built so that only a true idiot user with correct privileges can take down the whole system. Unfortunately their marketing that Macs are immune leads to user complacency and foolhardiness. The OS security is useless when the users circumvent or ignore it, which is what has happened with Mac malware, as well as a lot of newer Windows stuff. An idiot Mac user with admin privileges is just as dangerous as one in Vista or 7.

What they have largely been immune (not always [washingtonpost.com]) to is the worms and remote exploits for which Windows has been vulnerable.

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192533)

Apple needs to stop marketing itself as immune from viruses. They have never been immune, just not targeted and fortunately better built so that only a true idiot user with correct privileges can take down the whole system.

Which is why my dad, who uses my old powerbook, does not have admin priviliedges. He can still install apps by dragging them to his desktop or elsewhere. He's never had a problem or even called me for support other than advice on where to find a good replacement battery (old one was over 5 years old and barely held a charge). My mom, on the other hand, with her vista box, even without admin privs, is constantly calling me about why it's so slow and so on and so forth. It's a daily tech support thing. Something is always broken. I should start charging.

Unfortunately their marketing that Macs are immune leads to user complacency and foolhardiness. The OS security is useless when the users circumvent or ignore it, which is what has happened with Mac malware, as well as a lot of newer Windows stuff. An idiot Mac user with admin privileges is just as dangerous as one in Vista or 7.

Or in linux for that matter. I agree. You can't fix stupid so I don't think it's fair to say the OS is at fault when it's really the user. So in a sense apple is accurate that Macs don't get viruses. What they do is allow users to install malicious software if they choose to. *snickers*

Re:Virus on MAC ? (2, Informative)

PIBM (588930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192711)

There's been multiple viruses using failures in the system to install themselves on the apple hardware without any user input.

My favorite is the iphone exploit where somebody could root your device & record everything barely by sending an IM :)

Re:Virus on MAC ? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192643)

The problem is that you don't need a password to overwrite everything in /Applications.

I can totally see a program that contains a virus that infects iTunes, Safari, whatever. It'll be like the oldschool DOS viruses that infected every .exe on your drive.

LIES! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29191665)

My Apple is impervious! I don't need no stinkin' antivirus!

Snowing ? (5, Funny)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191671)

Can we get a weather report from Hell ?

Re:Snowing ? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192663)

Wait, I'll ask Ballmer. He will meet Cheney in his home tonight for some sweet sweet love. He can tell us, if he survives it.

Linked Twitter Feed? Reporting in the Third Person (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191713)

laughing @Slashdot eldavojohn watches the last journalistic integrity ebb #apple #mac #antivirus #snowleopard #security

Re:Linked Twitter Feed? Reporting in the Third Per (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191815)

In their defense, doesn't the submitter get to choose where their name links to? Seems to me that we should all point and laugh at the submitter who thinks we all want to know what he is doing at all times.

Re:Linked Twitter Feed? Reporting in the Third Per (2, Informative)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192377)

apparently 1325 followers do. :-/

Scanning (4, Funny)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191715)

At its core a virus scanner is just a wrapper around a multipattern byte matcher, so maybe it's better to ask whether they're using Aho-Corasick or Wu-Manber...

AV for consumers will be free (2, Interesting)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191725)

Microsoft is soon to have free-for-consumers anti-virus and anti-malware software as well:
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/ [microsoft.com]

Re:AV for consumers will be free (3, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191975)

The most effective thing they give users to protect from malware is a hammer to hit the person in the head each time they install or click on something they don't trust.

Re:AV for consumers will be free (5, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192109)

I don't think that would help, mad-clickers implicitly trust everything.

Re:AV for consumers will be free (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192537)

Though, to make up for it, they are likely to blame virtually any occurrence, from their ISP's technical issues to a full hard drive, on "viruses".

I use ClamXAV (4, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191727)

Personally I use ClamXAV and always have. Mainly because I have a tripple boot system (not that I use much more than OS X, but every once in a while I need to use Windows or Linux for testing something). Because of the fact that there are other operating systems on my box, I wanted an anti-virus in case somehow it could affect the other instances on the system.

Re:I use ClamXAV (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192001)

For those uses, wouldn't a virtual machine make more sense?

Parallels, at least, supports both Linux and Windows clients.

Re:I use ClamXAV (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192269)

And also unfortunately, Parrallels does not have proper hardware level GPU access from systems running in the virtual machine. So no 3D hardware acceleration or CUDA programming support, which happens to usually be the reason(s) for me to try the other OS's.

Re:I use ClamXAV (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192211)

Doesn't OS X already run ClamAV internally? At least as of 10.4, Server does [oreillynet.com] but I haven't heard about client.

Re:I use ClamXAV (-1, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192769)

Mainly because I have a tripple boot system...

Translation: "I have a bigger penis than you..."

Nonsense (5, Funny)

TerrenceCoggins (1601371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191783)

Virus protection? If Mac vs PC guy has taught me anything, it's that MAC'S DON'T GET VIRUSES! Don't lie to me...

Re:Nonsense (1, Funny)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191885)

Well yes, that's what the anti-virus is for, to ensure Mac's don't get viruses ;)

Re:Nonsense (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192513)

Well yes, that's what the anti-virus is for, to ensure Mac's don't get viruses.

Grammar Nazi says: "When your sentences' contain plural's, the plural's do not need apostrophe's. Apostrophe's are for possesive's and contraction's."

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191971)

I don't understand why you people think that any OS can be imprevious to a trojan?

As an OS X user, this is great news.
This way I don't have to wonder if my Apple using friends are downloading Photoshop from TPB and getting infected.

But, no, as of yet, there are still no self-propagating viruses or worms for OS X.
Even though my snide Windows friends keep sending me the sky is falling emails every month about OS X being just as vulnerable as Windows.

Re:Nonsense (1, Troll)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192133)

I don't understand why you people think that any OS can be imprevious to a trojan?

As an OS X user, this is great news.
This way I don't have to wonder if my Apple using friends are downloading Photoshop from TPB and getting infected.

But, no, as of yet, there are still no self-propagating viruses or worms for OS X.
Even though my snide Windows friends keep sending me the sky is falling emails every month about OS X being just as vulnerable as Windows.

Remember that OSX takes last place by a huge margin each year in pwn2own. OSX is certainly more vulnerable, but it gets attacked a lot less considering the 3.5% market share.

Re:Nonsense (1, Troll)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192387)

Remember that OSX takes last place by a huge margin each year in pwn2own. OSX is certainly more vulnerable, but it gets attacked a lot less considering the 3.5% market share.

At the same time, the rewards for pwning the OS X machine are greater (in resale value at the least, ignoring personal preferences), too, so you'll have more people going for it in the challenge where as (as you state) in the real world the pay off is actually less than if you pwned a different os.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192545)

Virus protection? If Mac vs PC guy has taught me anything, it's that MAC'S DON'T GET VIRUSES! Don't lie to me...

But Mac's run Windows under virtual machines. And trojans run everywhere. If you are going to include security against trojans, why not include virus definitions as well to protect ALL of your software (XP included)? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Re:Nonsense (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192609)

Virus protection? If Mac vs PC guy has taught me anything, it's that MAC'S DON'T GET VIRUSES! Don't lie to me...

Heck, maybe it's also why Linux virus scanners exist. Besides the oddball Mac trojan, the Mac AV probably keeps up with PC viruses as well. Not because they can run them, but to avoid being a "carrier". If you use the Windows firesharing, many worms seek out the shares. It's possible those worms may find an open Mac share and infect files in there. The Mac won't get infected, but Windows PCs accessing those shares can become infected. Better the Mac catch it and quarantine...

Linux Foundation announces partnership with McAfee (2, Funny)

billlava (1270394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191785)

San Francisco, AP
In response to a sharp rise in popularity in 2014 (the year of the Linux desktop,) the Linux Foundation has announced that antivirus technology from McAffee will be built into all versions of the Linux kernel starting with v 2.6.45. When asked about this latest development, Linus Torvalds said, "I believe that adding 2,476,000 lines of antivirus code in order to protect Linux users is the most effective solution and can only benefit Linux users for years to come."

That'll be the day that hell freezes over.

Re:Linux Foundation announces partnership with McA (4, Funny)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192029)

...followed up by

The Linux foundation regrets distributing Mcaffee which is a rootkit whose name looks a lot like McAfee.

good for Apple (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191877)

Better to get a head start on the AV game now rather than later. If Apple's dream does in fact come true and the majority of desktop users switch to Macs, I'd expect to see a sruge of malware targeted for the Mac platform. Anyone that thinks Macs (or any other platform) is immune to malware is living one helluva naive pipe dream.

Re:good for Apple (0)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192337)

I'd expect to see a sruge of malware targeted for the Mac platform.

...For instance AV software itself is often dangerously close to being malware. Ever tried removing Norton antivirus on a Mac? Try it once, you'll figure out why I think that. Moreover, the last time I saw any AV software actually find something on a computer I administered was in back in about 2002 or so and it was on Windows 2000. Even when it does find something, often you just have to reinstall anyway. I have also seen (admittedly underpowered) PCs made nearly unusable by XP and AV software. Meh, thanks but no thanks. I'll be careful to keep my firewall up and not allow Safari to open any programs, "safe" or not and not head over to malware sites, or any social networking site for that matter.

Anyone that thinks Macs (or any other platform) is immune to malware is living one helluva naive pipe dream.

I don't think they're immune, but I have yet to get any (that I know about). I even run windows sometimes. But then, I at least keep my exposure to such things to a minimum. The same cannot be said for everyone, but just so long as I can keep using the computers the way I want to use them, I don't care what others are doing.

Re:good for Apple (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192575)

I don't think they're immune, but I have yet to get any (that I know about). I even run windows sometimes. But then, I at least keep my exposure to such things to a minimum. The same cannot be said for everyone, but just so long as I can keep using the computers the way I want to use them, I don't care what others are doing.

There's a lot to be said for supporting herd immunity [wikipedia.org] throughout the internet. In principle, I also don't really give a damn what people do with their own computer (short of sympathetic pain when I see how horrible it is to use some people's bogged-down, (crap|mal|spy)ware-ridden computers), but viruses, worms, etc. take advantage of the vulnerable majority and make the internet a less safe place for everyone, even those of us who can generally take care of ourselves. I suspect (hope?) Apple's goal is to include a not-incredibly-annoying AV program that most of their users won't even know exists, but will prevent them from becoming yet another spam bot or node in a botnet.

As an afterthought, I've never been able to trust AV vendors completely, since their livelihood depends on viruses still being a threat. Apple doesn't have that hangup, so it seems feasible they'll actually have something better.

*shrug* Of course, I have no direct personal interest in this. I run linux!

Re:good for Apple (5, Insightful)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192401)

Dunno. While no platform is 100% secure, design does count for a lot. There are a lot of "proof of concept" hacks out there for the Mac, but very, very, very few "in the wild" 'sploits floating around, especially self-replicating ones like viruses and worms. The installed base of Internet-going Macs is a few dozen million at the least, and mostly personal computers with personal info and used to buy stuff online - prime targets for the big-shop black hats. I doubt very much it's not worth their while... I just think they can't go after a system with even a moderate level of security.

I don't think this says something about Apple (see the part above about "proof of concept" hacks), I think this says a ton about Microsoft.

I really don't buy "ecosystem" arguments - why is IIS and MSSQL pwnd on a regular basis by automated attacks, but Apache and MySQL only once in a blue moon (and Oracle almost never)?

Re:good for Apple (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192565)

Dunno. While no platform is 100% secure, design does count for a lot. There are a lot of "proof of concept" hacks out there for the Mac, but very, very, very few "in the wild" 'sploits floating around, especially self-replicating ones like viruses and worms.

Well, there's apparently enough of them "in the wild" that Snow Leopard beta testers have discovered an unannounced anti-malware feature. Why not try to nip this in the bud?

Re:good for Apple (0)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192441)

> If Apple's dream does in fact come true and the majority of desktop users switch to Macs,

That has never been a dream of Apple's and certainly not of their users.

Apple sees themselves as selling a luxury brand experience. That means it must NEVER become too popular lest it lose it's cache. The success of the iPod and iPhone are already pushing Apple market share to dangerous levels but they are just 'consumer electronics' and not the Mac itself.

To illustrate by analogy, let us consider Harley Davidson. They don't mind the hoi poli buying the branded merch but the actual motorcycles are a status symbol reserved for those willing to part with major coin to own one. If they ever introduced a model that blew away Honda and such, thus gaining major market share, the hard core would quickly adopt another brand since the Harley Davidson emblem would no longer serve to instantly communicate to onlookers the owner's 'serious biker' status.

Same with Apple, to see the gaudy glowing logo instantly communicates one's status as a member of the elite to all who behold it. If Walmart were selling Macs to ordinary folk it just wouldn't be the same. I suspect Apple sees the iPods and iPhones more like Harley sees the branded merc, stuff the wannabees can afford and promote the brand yet they are still not among the select who own actual Macs.

And unless Apple finds a business model that doesn't depend on insanely great margins it is a moot point anyway since they will never be a mass market player.

Re:good for Apple (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192753)

That has never been a dream of Apple's...

Rubbish. Maximizing profits is the dream of every publicly-held company, whether the founders like it or not. Go out and ask some Apple shareholders...I have a feeling you'll hear a different story.

Apple sees themselves as selling a luxury brand experience. That means it must NEVER become too popular lest it lose it's cache. The success of the iPod and iPhone are already pushing Apple market share to dangerous levels but they are just 'consumer electronics' and not the Mac itself.

The funny thing is that you actually believe that. Yes, Apple is considered a "luxury brand", but to suggest that Apple would prefer not to sell their products that they spend such a large amount of money marketing and advertising in order to preserve their "cache" is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. Steve Jobs maybe an arrogant elitist, but he's a businessman first and foremost.

Exciting? (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29191893)

From TFA "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..."

Exciting? Not the word I would use...depressing maybe.

black people (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29191943)

big 'ole lips and the smell.... dear god they STINK!!!! /sexycat

Bound to happen (2, Interesting)

prof187 (235849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192013)

As OS X becomes more popular it's pretty much inevitable that people will *want* AV on their computers. Be it from the paranoid to the clueless who "heard from a friend of a friend that Macs are insecure" -- or just someone playing it safe -- a move like this would make sense to ease consumer fears. Yes, they already sell AV products from third-parties, but in the same way Windows has its own set of security tools this is Apple's way of showing that you don't just have to trust them, they're actively involved in proving the safety of their product.

Re:Bound to happen (0)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192119)

So when will they actually implement something genuinely useful against real security threats, like package management?

Re:Bound to happen (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192427)

Because I couldn't code $COOLGAME which also includes a trojan, make a .deb available for download on my site, and infect many Ubuntu users. Make the trojan sneaky and hidden enough and it would not surprise me if you were even able to get it into the repos, at least for a while.

Re:Bound to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192715)

If Apple ever implements something even remotely like Linux's package management, I'm quitting computers forever. That shit is horrible.

McAfee (4, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192139)

Let them run McAfee. Those Macs run too fast as it is, and that should make those shooter games playable by us mere humans.

Re:McAfee (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192735)

Yeah. Then we Germans could also call it Mac-Affe (Affe = monkey/ape), and state that our Macs now are protected by monkeys. ;)

Our terrible terrible secret... (5, Funny)

Garbad Ropedink (1542973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192149)

It's time we came clean. Macs do get viruses. Actually they get a lot of viruses. Really the OS is basically viruses and itunes. We pretend like we can work on these systems but it's just a screen full of viruses all having sex with eachother. The reason you never heard about it because back in ought 3' we took an oath to never reveal that terrible terrible truth. We relied on Windows users hatred of Macs preventing them from finding out. But, now that it's out in the open I suppose we ought to move forward and try to rebuild, maybe accept the situation and try to secure our OS.

So uhh.. Windows users... How do you make a *shudder* bug fix?

Re:Our terrible terrible secret... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192475)

same way you make a pig fly

but, but, but, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192193)

isn't the Leopard immune to such thing? That's what Steve has been telling us all along, right?

Why not use ClamAV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192207)

It's open source and already runs on everything.

Hypocritcal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192235)

So it's OK for Apple to bundle in anti-virus but when Microsoft toyed with the idea for Windows the AV makers and the MS haters threw a hissy fit.

Security Details (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192249)

Apple has been light on details they have made public about Snow Leopard. We know they implemented a CDSA security architecture, expanded use of the sandboxing, and now there is this report of actual malware scanning, but the info on Apple.com is basically nonexistent. I surmise this is intentional. Security people either have developer accounts or will read up on this stuff in technical papers when NDA's expire next week. For regular users, Apple doesn't even want to bring up security as an issue. They will make blanket marketing statements about it, but they would rather leave all the details to more technical venues. This was their policy for Leopard too, with most users having no clue that a full port of TrustedBSD's mandatory access controls was included and being used to sandbox certain potentially vulnerable services.

Good move... (1)

moredots (1613051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192257)

I apologize to the antivirus software industry for what I'm about to say, but AV should be part of the operating system - and it should be a good, solid, constantly updated AV that others can't compete with. If a piece of software is required to keep the operating system in working order, it should be provided by the operating system developer free of charge with the operating system.

Re:Good move... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192603)

AV should be part of the operating system

I agree, but I don't necessarily think that means destroying competition and the existing industry. For the practical reason of encouraging better results through competition and for legal reasons in most jurisdictions, I think OS vendors should be building a plug-in anti-malware architecture that allows end users to subscribe to multiple security feeds, each of which provides whitelists, blacklists, greylists, and potentially ACLs for software.The OS should handle acquiring and verifying the source of the feed and merging the results of multiple feeds as well as the UI and execution. Thus, there is still room for commercial competition on top of what is provided by the OS vendor.

So.. (-1, Flamebait)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192305)

Who actually cares about macs? Perhaps now their users will go buy a real computer. Not the fisher price toys they play with now.

Re:So.. (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192645)

Who actually cares about macs? Perhaps now their users will go buy a real computer. Not the fisher price toys they play with now.

We really need to start enforcing that minimum age requirement for Slashdot membership...

Rampant Speculation in TFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192323)

The author doesn't seem to have even done a cursory investigation. Apple didn't license it from any major vendor, it's a simple byte-code scan that can easily be bypassed with simple changes to the malware binary. Also, it is leaving itself open to false positives. Apple, if you're not gonna take security seriously, don't bother releasing anything. This "feature" is garbage.

Come the time for rain, it'll pour. (2, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192381)

Problem with having a single, unified anti-virus (if ever such a thing is reliably possible), programmers will have an easier time guessing what protections they'll face when creating a virus.

Windows might not be the most... or... almost... close to the most stable series of operating systems, but there sure is a fair bit of variety involved in each installation. A vulnerability that can hit any generic OS X installation hard will be able to hit every other generic OS X installation hard.

This'll end in tears if Apple and friends don't keep vigilant on every threat. A problem with the die-hard proprietary and user friendly nature of Apple products is Apple are now the sole caretaker, the mother and father, the reason and the nonsense to every single computer they've made residency in. End users aren't encouraged to practice personal responsibility, they pay and trust... pay for trust...

Think Different, Indeed.

Re:Come the time for rain, it'll pour. (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192509)

Problem with having a single, unified anti-virus (if ever such a thing is reliably possible), programmers will have an easier time guessing what protections they'll face when creating a virus.

I agree, to some extent. In terms of attacks on the antivirus system itself a single system may be more vulnerable. In terms of bypassing signatures, however, there is no reason centralized anti-malware cannot draw signatures from disparate feeds, the user subscribes to, be they supplied by Apple, open projects, or commercial companies, for free, or charge.

That said, Apple including malware detection doesn't mean users can't install other malware detection services as well. ClamAV isn't going away just because Apple ships a built in competitor.

End users aren't encouraged to practice personal responsibility, they pay and trust... pay for trust...

From Apple's Snow Leopard Web site:

Security Advice The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection. Here are some other ways to help keep your information as safe as possible:

  • Download files only from known and trusted websites.
  • Use FileVault to encrypt your most important documents.
  • Control access to your Mac by locking your screen after a period of inactivity.
  • Securely delete outdated sensitive files with the Secure Empty Trash command.

That sounds to me like end users are being encouraged to practice personal responsibility.

Re:Come the time for rain, it'll pour. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192793)

That sounds to me like end users are being encouraged to practice personal responsibility.

Well, yes, except nobody ever reads the documentation, so it doesn't really matter what it says.

Whaaaaat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192413)

I thought Apple claimed "Macs don't get viruses." in their commercials. Yet, they have anti-virus...

Liars.

- The thoughts of PC.

So Josh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29192519)

you say "will have built-in antivirus functionality."

But the web site you link to says it's only a rumor and they ahve a screen shot.
You start propagating an exaggeration.

Well done.
Like most security experts I have worked with, you are bone head.

Given that we've had the golden master for weeks.. (4, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192553)

...and no such thing exists there, this would seem to be completely made up bullshit.

Hmm.. Speculation on a rumour from unkown source. (5, Informative)

MROD (101561) | more than 4 years ago | (#29192685)

So, we have a Slashdot story speculating about the outcome of a story on another site which uses unknown, and not necessarily reliable source, about a possible feature in an unreleased OS.

Can we please wait until there is real evidence before shouting that the sky's falling please.

Oh, sorry, this is Slashdot! ;-)

As for the article: *IF* it is true, fine! Who cares what anti-virus engine it uses as long as it works and is ready for any dangerous malware which does come along for MacOS?

(And for those who wish to gloat, no OS is fully immune, especially from the security hole at the keyboard. Why does Linux need an anti-virus product like ClamAV?! Linux doesn't have any viruses.... ;-))

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