Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) is due to be released next month, and its latest Developer Preview shows a new addition meant to keep its users secure: the automatic security check feature.
This new capability – “OS X Security Update Test 1.0” – will make the OS contact Apple’s servers on a daily basis or every time the machine is started, download and automatically install updates, thus ensuring that the users always have the latest patches.
The feature will surely be a welcome addition, along with the already announced Gatekeeper, which will give users control over which apps can be downloaded and installed on their Mac.
It is believed that the automatic security check has been added as a reaction to the heavily publicized issue of the Flashback Trojan and the rather large botnet it managed to enslave Mac machines into.
After having initially needed to be downloaded it and run by its victims, the Trojan was later distributed through booby-trapped websites that took advantage of a unpatched Java vulnerability to push the malware onto unsuspecting users.
The inclusion of this latest security feature – along with the small change to a Mac marketing webpage that turned their previous statement of Mac “doesn’t get PC viruses” to “It’s built to be safe” – seems to signal Apple’s acknowledgement that the time has come for them to consider security a priority.