Apple's new Mac OS X antivirus/malware business

Hmm, it looks like there might be more than one reason for Apple retiring their famous Mac/PC commercials -- turns out they've quietly gotten into the malware/antivirus business.

MacWorld reports that Apple has quietly snuck an anti-malware (antivirus) update into the latest round of Mac OS X Snow Leopard updates. An antivirus program was included in Snow Leopard, and last week's Snow Leopard update included an update to the Mac OS X antivirus definition file (a simple Mac OS X plist file).

Mac OS X antivirus/malware information

Sure enough, if you look for a file named XProtect.plist, like this:

locate XProtect.plist

you'll find that file here:

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

which you can view with the vi editor like this:

view /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

As the article suggests, you'll find keywords in there like "RSPlug.a" and "Iservice", along with the new "HellRTS".

Is this why Apple really pulled the Mac/PC ads? I don't know, but it's certainly one good reason to quit saying there are no Mac OS X viruses or malware.

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