Google releases VirusTotal Uploader for OS X to help keep your Mac secure

VirusTotal Uploader

Google has released VirusTotal Uploader for OS X, an app that will let you upload suspicious apps and files to VirusTotal so they can be scanned by the service to identify malware. VirusTotal, purchased by Google in September 2012, has produced apps for Windows and Android, but this is the first VirusTotal product to be released on an Apple platform.

Google hopes that users will upload more applications from Mac, which will expand the VirusTotal database, giving antivirus developers more to work with, according to the VirusTotal blog:

Hopefully this will lead to VirusTotal receiving more Mac applications, diving deeper into an increasingly targeted OS by attackers and allowing antivirus companies and researchers making use of VirusTotal's backend to build stronger defenses against these threats.

VirusTotal Uploader for Mac lets users drag and drop files, folders, and applications into the app to be scanned. You can also use "Open With" in the Finder to open a file or app in VirusTotal Uploader and immediately begin scanning it. The app will display the name, scan date, and number of malware detections made for the particular file or app.

VirusTotal Uploader is a free tool that you can download from their website right now, and requires OS X 10.7 or higher. Will you be using VirusTotal to secure your Mac? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: VirusTotal blog

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

dalsmavsfan says:

I thought Apple Mac had virus security built in

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Dev from tipb says:

Nothing is perfect - OSX is good, but it has had a couple of large scale attacks.

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ungibbed says:

No connected OS is entirely secure. The safest state your computer can be in is when it's powered off. I love my Mac but know security holes do exist. The best prevention against Malware is to not use any pirated application or game no matter how tempting it may be.

Apple has done quite well on keeping up with security patches for the Mac but even the most secure computer regardless of OS, is at the mercy of the user that can make one crucial mistake. That's where potential problems begin.

GlennRuss says:

And unplug any internet cable connected to the computer, even when turned off.

ungibbed says:

Unless you have a Mac Pro using Gigabit Ethernet, or an older iMac, I don't know a single Mac owner that stays hardwired directly to a DSL or cable modem these days. Even though my setup resembles as a desktop system, the WiFi speeds these days really have negated the need for hard wiring at all.

Dev from tipb says:

Pleased to meet you.

Now you know somebody who does (and needs to) :)
Edit: to my own router, not directly to modem

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Galley says:

I still don't believe there is such thing as a Mac virus. A worm or trojan that tricks a user into entering the Admin password, likely does exist, however.

Dev from tipb says:

A virus is simply a program that replicates itself - and there are plenty for the Mac, though, far, *far* less than there are for Windows.

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Galley says:

But isn't the difference that a virus can wreak havoc without any interaction from the user?

Dev from tipb says:

Technically, no - a virus just has to be self-replicating once activated. They don't even have to be destructive, though many are. Even on Windows, most require tricking user interaction to start (hence the "don't open strange attachments" warning), but then merrily do their own thing, including downloading and running new code, thereafter. The most famous one on OSX was probably flashback (despite the name, not related to flash), which infected a higher % of Macs than any single virus infected Windows.

That's not to say OSX is horribly vulnerable - by culture and by tech, it is pretty good - it can just get you in trouble if you rely on it being perfect .

Edit: me dumb - flashback was technically a Trojan, not a virus. Apparently there are an estimated 22k Macs still infected as of this year

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_BackDoor.Flashback
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khobia2 says:

So how does this compare to other antivirus tools say like Norton. I'm quite comfortable leaving my Mac just as it is.

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czar#WN says:

Sure give Google and its affiliates your files for scanning. Are you kidding me? This is exactly why I stopped using Gmail for anything serious. Can you imagine your office discovering you've handed over proprietary documents to these guys? Sorry, I've not had a virus on a Mac since System version 7.

rgough305 says:

I leave my Mac Mini on 24x7 wired with iTunes running for Apple TV access. I've never ran any antivirus software before. Maybe I'm wearing the proverbial rose colored glasses, but I'm not too concerned.

RupMjee says:

As long as you are downloading from App store only.. you are pretty much safe as these apps are already reviewed by Apple.
Only need to check the non app store apps downloaded from 3rd party websites; which is not a bad thing to do since this is a free service from google.

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