Google has launched a new desktop version of its popular VirusTotal Uploader tool for Mac OS X
in a bid to encourage malware fighters to make the Apple ecosystem more secure.
Up until now, VirusTotal Uploader,
which Google bought back in September 2012, has been only available for Windows.
It allows users to upload suspicious looking files, folders and apps to the VirusTotal malware scanning service. The results can help information security vendors and researchers to build more effective products.
“Today we are proud to announce a new VirusTotal Uploader for OS X. It is available for download on our Desktop Applications page,” Google said in a blog post
. “Internally it uses our public API to schedule uploads of files, with the exact same limitations that any public API user would experience.”
The Mac OS X uploader operates in the same way as its Windows forerunner, allowing users to simply drag-and-drop suspicious files, apps and folders onto the tool so they can be scanned by over 50 AV products.
Alternatively, users can select VirusTotal using the “Open With” function to scan files, according to the firm.
“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,” it added.
VirusTotal Uploader for Macs works on OS X 10.8 and 10.9.
As Macs have grown increasingly popular so they have become a more lucrative target for malware writers.
Even as far back as 2012, security vendor Symantec estimated
that the cyber criminals behind the ad-clicking Flashback Trojan could be netting as much as $10,000 per day by infecting Mac users.
Back in February, another Mac Trojan, dubbed OSX/CoinThief.A, was discovered in the wild
stealing victims’ Bitcoins.
Another major thorn in the side of Mac security researchers has been the Flashback Trojan.
First discovered back in 2011, it infected hundreds of thousands of Macs but was largely dealt with by the following year after Apple’s Product Security Response team released security updates.
However, vendor Intego revealed
in January this year that there are still 22,000 machines infected with the versatile, self-encrypted malware as it continues to evade detection.