While malicious software has long been a near-daily annoyance for Windows PCs, Mac users have become accustomed to not worrying about malware. Threats arise from time to time—in January of this year, for example, a Trojan horse made the rounds in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork software—but most Mac users these days are probably running computers without antivirus software.
Apple has encouraged that habit, too, by frequently touting the Mac’s resistance to malware in its advertising materials, especially when compared to Windows. But with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Apple has finally decided to subtly step up its fight against malware, much as it has done in the past with antiphishing features in Safari. For the first time, the Mac OS contains a built-in system that detects malicious software and attempts to protect users from inadvertently damaging their computers.
How does it work?
Does it work?
What does it all mean?