Stay On Top of Apple’s Malware Definitions with Safe Download Version

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Snow Leopard users that installed Apple’s Security Update 2011-003 can get daily safe file updates that Safari uses to help make sure malware doesn’t find its way onto their Macs. Apple doesn’t, however, offer an easy way to tell when your definitions list was last updated, or what list version number is installed, so The Mac Observer whipped up Safe Download Version to handle that task for you.

Safe Download VersionSafe Download Version shows when your Mac’s malware definitions were updated

Safe Download Version is a Mac OS X application that shows which safe downloads definition list version is installed, along with the date and time the definition list was last updated on your computer. The brand new version 0.2 update changed the time shown from GMT to local time, and fixed an error if the XProtect.meta.plist file doesn’t exist.

Apple released Security Update 2011-003 in response to a trojan horse malware threat called MacDefender. The trojan horse looks like a legit application that scans your Mac for viruses.

MacDefender displays dialogs claiming it found malware, and then asks users for their credit card account information. To help reinforce the illusion that it found viruses, it forces Web browser windows to open to porno Web sites.

As new variants of MacDefender hit the Web, Apple will continue to update its safe download list with new malware definitions. Macs with Security Update 2011-003 installed will auto-check for the new definitions daily.

Safe Download Version 0.2 is free and available for download at the TMO Web site.

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Lee Dronick


One thing though, there is a possible typo. Is it “Save Downloads” or Safe Downloads?

Dave Hamilton

One thing though, there is a possible typo. Is it ?Save Downloads? or Safe Downloads?

You’re right. We’ll patch it up and simply update the link when we do. Thanks, Sir Harry!

Lee Dronick

Your welcome Dave, thanks again for the app.

Damen Stephens

Darn - so Apple’s malware protection is not universal - it only works with Safari ?  The problem with this, for me, is that I have just started using Firefox and Chrome as Safari now (since I “upgraded” to Snow Leopard) renders my computer unusable and unresponsive with spinning beach balls and 7gb “virtual memory” files.


as Safari now (since I ?upgraded? to Snow Leopard) renders my computer unusable and unresponsive with spinning beach balls and 7gb ?virtual memory? files.

Sounds like you have bigger issues than Safari. I’m running SL and Safari and while there is the occasional spinning beach-ball it’s not enough to cause problems. Also, I’ve not seen monster virtual memory files at all.

Might want to run Onyx and see what it cleans up.

Damen Stephens

Cool - I’ll give that a go, although I should note that my father (totally different Mac) experienced the same problem when he upgraded to SL (about which I feel guilty as I was the one who convinced him to do so).  It took me a while to narrow down Safari as the main culprit (as there was also a recurring memory leak in Mail for a while which decided to fix itself) and since I’ve reverted to the other browsers I haven’t experienced any problems (other than losing some Safari features I quite liked).


This great! Thank you!


well very cool and thank you for preventing me from having to dive into the details of a bundle and other things I am not geeking enough to get. So, Today Fri June 3 at 4 PM Pacific time I am on version 3 june 2 just as the picture shows - just to tell all.

I do not have any performance issues on my pre thunderbolt imac 27 ” bought in jan 2011 running snowy.

So, it isn’t a universal thing that the security patch 003 did everyone in.


Question about safe download - how do I know if I need to upgrade to a new version of safe download?
Right now, I downloaded a “new” version but it just says a version (3) and date and time (but does not indicate what time zone 2:13:07 PM on Thursday June 2 is in ..hmmm.can you guys tweek this?

Also, when I look at the app it says MD_version_v0.3 up in the menu bar but gives no other info. So how do I know that it is the lastes?

HELP! (I"m slightly below geek level - can ya tell?)


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