Apple Insider has reported that Apple has silently added rudimentary protection for a threat that they call HellRTS. Our own David Harley has blogged about this at http://macviruscom.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/apples-covert-anti-malware-ops/. At the same time that Apple tries to fool users into thinking that malware doesn’t run on Macs, Apple is very slowly beginning to add very basic protection for real Mac threats.
This particular threat has been around since April. It would seem that Apple should be able to respond to such threats much more quickly than a couple of months.
It was interesting reading some of the comments in response to the Apple Insider story. Some people are speculating that the only way to get infected is to use a pirated torrent and so their logic says that Apple is only protecting pirates. It is foolish to think the only way this threat can be used is to embed it in pirated software.
We are seeing an increase in attacks against Macs. While the level of activity is not nearly as high as what we see in the Windows world, it is still a very real threat. The protection that Apple has currently will not protect users if the malware is installed from a USB stick, so if you are using a Mac you might want to consider an antivirus application produced by experienced professionals. Sophos have a nice video showing how this works at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCKciRQQ_8o.
There are a few companies with antivirus applications for the Mac. You are welcome to try out our own Mac beta free of charge. You can find it at http://www.eset.com/mac
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, We Live Security