Microsoft ships antivirus for macOS, renames Windows Defender to ‘Microsoft Defender’

“Microsoft is bringing its Windows Defender anti-malware application to macOS — and more platforms in the future — as it expands the reach of its Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) platform,” Peter Bright reports for Ars Technica. “To reflect the new cross-platform nature, the suite is also being renamed to Microsoft Defender ATP, with the individual clients being labelled “for Mac” or “for Windows.””

“macOS malware is still something of a rarity, but it’s not completely unheard of. Ransomware for the platform was found in 2016, and in-the-wild outbreaks of other malicious software continue to be found,” Bright reports. “Apple has integrated some malware protection into macOS, but we’ve heard from developers on the platform that Mac users aren’t always very good at keeping their systems on the latest point release. This situation is particularly acute in corporate environments; while Windows has a range of tools to ensure that systems are kept up-to-date and alert administrators if they fall behind, a similar ecosystem hasn’t been developed for macOS.”

Bright reports, “One would hope that Defender for Mac will also trap Windows malware to prevent Mac users from spreading malware to their Windows colleagues.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Containing Windows contagions thereby preventing Macs from being Typhoid Mary’s for the crappy Windows PCs is the main reason for enterprises to deploy Microsoft Defender for Mac.


  1. This actually is good for enterprise customers who want to integrate Macs with minimal fuss. Defender is probably part of many enterprise bundles. This means administrators won’t need to get additional AV software for some extra computers, which requires additional configuration, training and servers to administer.

    1. I suspect with the now larger Enterprise share it actually encourages virus publishers to target Macs. More valuable information now more than ever on those machines.

    2. Sure, there’s little practical point. But a lot of organisations need to comply with a number of specifications to work in some sectors (e.g. government). That usually means: install antivirus on all your machines.

  2. Whenever MS seems to do something beneficial for the Mac community, it does something bad to make up for it, so something is up. I wonder if it made a deal with the NSA to funnel data from Mac users to the NSA or CIA or your local police. Hey, no need for a back door; MS will open it under guise of offering a benefit.

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