How mac detects few malwares downloaded from internet

The Apple Mac OS 10.6 + detects the few malwares downloaded from internet as per the signatures found in XProtect.plist file. This is not an antivirus application and only alerts the user when he tries download/install the suspicious application from internet. This file is located at /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist. You will need a  good security software to protect your mac from bad guys on internet.  you can read more on this here  and here

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