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Apple issues "stealth" anti-malware security update

It's clear that Apple really doesn't want users to think about security that much. So much so that the Cupertino giant is resorting to stealthy security updates.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

It's clear that Apple really doesn't want users to think about security that much. So much so that the Cupertino giant is resorting to stealthy security updates.

This from security firm Sophos:
Although there is no mention of it that we could find in Apple's release notes for Mac OS X 10.6.4, or the accompanying security bulletin, Apple has updated XProtect.plist - the rudimentary file that contains elementary signatures of a handful of Mac threats - to detect what they call HellRTS.

Did you know that Mac OS already has a very basic built-in virus scanner? I'm pretty sure that most Mac users don't know this.

HellRTS is your standard malware fayre - it can be used to send spam, access your files, take screenshots of what you are doing and copy your clipboard. But Apple don't want users to know this:

Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn't helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done. You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an anti-malware security update like this was for marketing reasons. "Shh! Don't tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!"

Apple doesn't want users to think about security, but in this day and age that's hardly a realistic approach. Given that threats can evolve on a minute to minute basis, ad hoc updates like this aren't going to cut it for long.

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