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  • XProtect and MRT updates in macOS Catalina

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS XProtect and MRT updates in macOS Catalina

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      • #2362676
        AskWoody Plus

        I have an iMAC and a MacBook Air, both from mid 2017, both running Catalina, both up to date except for the latest April patches, and both running Avira Free antivirus. The iMAC was purchased new in October 2017 with Sierra, the Air purchsed in Agust 2019, from Apple Refurbished with Mojave. I have updated both computers through the sequence of OS upgrades as they became available (the iMAC skipped over Mojave going from High Sierra to Catalina)

        On each computer, when I go to System Preferences, Software Update, Advanced, I see that the box for ‘Install System Data Files and Security Updates’ is unchecked. That’s strange since I checked that box when I set these computers up. I admit to not checking this for quite some time – probably a year or more.

        I would expect that based on the above there would be no XProtect or MRT updates, or at least that they would not seem to be up to date depending on just how long the aforementioned box has been unchecked. But when I go to Apple, About This Mac, System Report, Software Installations, it appears that the Air is current on these updates at least through April 23, 2021 but the iMAC seems to have received it’s last updates on 12/18/2020 for XProtect and 11/15/2020 for MRT. (XProtect actually appears as ‘XProtectPListConfigData’ and MRT as ‘MRTConfigData’)

        So my first question is why did the Air seem to disregard the unchecked box mentioned above but the iMAC not disregard it?

        Second question is Have I left the iMAC with a big security hole? Or, how urgent is it that I check the box and hopefully get the updates? Also, if I do check the box will I get a bunch of updates that will potentially tie up the system for a couple hours, or are the updates cumulative, or at least go in unobtrusively? If things are going to get mucked up I need to do it late at night.

        Both computers are clean on complete scans by Avira.

        I hope this hasn’t been too long-winded, but I’m trying to include everything that seems relevant. Thanks for any help/suggestions.

      • #2362684
        AskWoody Plus

        Dr.Bonzo: I am still running Mojave, and the box is still checked. Could yours so mysteriously being unchecked be one of those Catalina things?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

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        • #2362689
          AskWoody Plus

          That’s kind of what I’m thinking, although I’m puzzled as to why the Air seems to be getting the updates, but the iMAC doesn’t even though they are both running Catalina and both had the box unchecked. Unfortunately I think of that box as a set it and forget it thing and I don’t know when the box became unchecked.

          I checked the box on the Air about 12 hours ago and so far nothing has been installed. I have 24/7 access to the Air but not with the iMAC; I only have limited times I can fuss with the iMAC.

          • #2362703

            It doesn’t seem to be a Catalina thing. Looking at 2 of mine, both are checked. I have just done the 10.15.3 update on both. MRT update is 4/29 on one and 4/30 on the other. I’m running TrendMicro on both.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2362731

        I can’t offer an explanation.  However, you can check and update MRT and XProtect (and other things) using SilentKnight.  In my experience, the updates are small.



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