The internet is a curious place full of fact, fiction and rumours.
If the latest murmurs are to be believed then the Mac, which some people claim is impervious to viruses and other security threats, is about to receive a rather curious update.
The latest and upcoming version of OS X, known as Snow Leopard, may well contain an antivirus program.
The following screenshot of a .DMG file downloaded by Safari quite clearly shows that it is being queried by the operating system.
As you can see, the resulting dialog box shows that the disk image contains a virus called ‘OSX.RSPlug.A’ and the user is being prompted to eject the disk image.
Antivirus expert Justin Bellinger offered up an interesting comment on this new development –
Apple are touting virus protection through the new and more advanced application sandboxing that will ship built-in and active for the Snow Leopard release.
I believe they’ve been using this via the browsers for a while, and, from what I hear it is absolutely effective at eliminating drive-by attacks.
In terms of an active antivirus component shipping, I can find no references to this on the apple website.
In the past the Mac has never been a big enough target to attract the level of malware that Windows machines has but I believe the times are changing.
We’ll know more about Snow Leopard and it’s security measures when it is released tomorrow (the 28th).