Mac hacking: the way to better testing?

David Harley ESET
Lysa Myers Intego

Anti-malware testing on the Windows platform remains highly controversial, even after almost two decades of regular and frequent testing using millions of malware samples. Macs have fewer threats and there are fewer prior tests on which to base a testing methodology, so establishing sound mainstream testing is even trickier. But as both Macs and Mac malware increase in prevalence, the importance of testing the software intended to supplement the internal security of OS X increases too.

What features and scenarios make Mac testing so much trickier? We look at the ways in which Apple's intensive work on enhancing OS X security internally with internal detection of known malware has actually driven testers back towards the style of static testing from which Windows testing has moved on. And in what ways might testing a Mac be easier? What can a tester do to make testing more similar to real-world scenarios, and are there things that should reasonably be done that would make a test less realistic yet more fair and accurate? This paper looks to examine the testing scenarios that are unique to Macs and OS X, and offers some possibilities for ways to create a test that is both relevant and fair.

VB2013 takes place 2-4 October 2013 in Berlin, Germany.

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