The quiet arrival of XProtect Remediator marks a sea change in macOS anti-malware protection. Apple is obviously looking to significantly beef up the security of its system.
In the fight against malware, Apple is following in Microsoft’s footsteps. Indeed, the Cupertino company is in the process of deploying a whole new protection component in its macOS system, under the almost cinematic name of “XProtect Remediator”. This work in progress was detected by computer scientist Howard Oakley, who regularly reviews the processes and file system of his Mac. The first elements appeared in June. Since then, this software has continued to grow, as evidenced by its series of blog posts on the subject.
XProtect Remediator is made up of a suite of executable modules that would each target a certain type of malware : AdLoad, DubRobber, Pirrit, Genieo, etc. The mission of these binaries, of course, is clear: to detect and remove any malicious code found. In fact, it’s not the first macOS anti-malware software. Until now, this system already had two layers of protection, namely XProtect, to verify the authenticity and integrity of applications, and MRT, to scan the file system and, if necessary, proceed with the removal of malicious code. As XProtect Remediator has exactly the same mission, it should therefore eventually replace MRT.
Scans every hour
The big difference between the two is that the new anti-malware software is much more active. MRT launches at startup and then scans from time to time. XProtect Remediator, on the other hand, seems to scan whenever the opportunity arises. Some detection modules are even run hourly. Apple seems to be taking the problem of cyberattacks much more seriously. “MacOS anti-malware protection has changed more in the last six months than in the last seven years. It has become totally preventive and as active as many anti-malware Trade “, says Howard Oakley. To benefit from it, however, you must have macOS Catalina or higher.
Well, let’s be honest, we are probably still far from the quality and functional scope of a Windows Defender, anti-malware from Microsoft. But the road is now mapped out. Faced with the growing virulence of hackers, Apple has no real choice and must act.