OS X Snow Leopard may have anti-virus built in

Apple loves to poke fun at the "thousands of viruses" Windows users have to watch out for, even in its latest ads. However, the company isn't kidding itself—Macs get malware too. At least, we can't think of a reason why else, as AppleInsider reports, the new Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard includes built-in virus protection.

A screenshot originally posted on the blog of Mac anti-virus firm Intego shows the feature in action: an alert that warns, "'install.pkg will damage your computer. You should move it to the Trash." The alert provides a little background information, telling the user when and how the file was downloaded, where it resides, and what malware it contains—in this case OSX.RSPlug.A. According to Symantec, that's a low-risk trojan horse that changes DNS settings.

AppleInsider speculates that Apple contracted out Snow Leopard's malware detection engine to a third-party firm. The site also points to a ZDNet blog post that echoes the speculation and states that Apple isn't using ClamAV, an open-source anti-virus toolkit for *nix systems.

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