Even Security Breaches Are Easier On Macs

from the usability-counts dept

Much gets made of the supposed simplicity and ease of use of the Mac OS, particularly when compared to Windows. There's little doubt that some tasks are far easier for users on Macs than on Windows, but Apple probably doesn't want that to extend to attackers being able to install malware -- but a security company that says it's found a proof-of-concept Mac OS adware program and notes that launching the web browser to serve ads when opening other applications is "easier to do than with Windows. After all, it's a Mac." This is separate from a kernel vulnerability for Mac OS that was also recently disclosed, reinforcing the reality that Macs aren't bulletproof when it comes to security. However, the Mac's low market share is as much of a protection against viruses, adware and many other security problems as is anything intrinsic to the operating system.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 6:24am

    I would hardly call this a security breach. The article, which is pretty vague, only talks about what their software can do once it is installed. It does not mention how this tool was installed. It seems to me that there is no "security breach" here since there was no surreptitious installation. In fact the article even mentions that an administrator would need to install the tool for it to effect other users on the system, signaling that these researchers have not found any hole, they've just figured out how to launch the browser. Anyone spending enough time on developer.apple.com could figure that out.

    Techdirt makes a point of calling out the mainstream media when their headlines are misleading and in this case, flame bait. You folks should practice what you preach.

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  • identicon
    Kevin, 27 Nov 2006 @ 6:53am

    Duh

    This has been happeing since the OS8 days, this is nothing new to OSX. Quicktime used to do it all the time.

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  • identicon
    Baal, 27 Nov 2006 @ 6:57am

    So where are all the MAC lovers that kept saying that thier OSX is invincable?! Imagine that.

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    • identicon
      Josh, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      They are over in the /. Community bashing Microsoft right now...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rick Bunker, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:16am

        Re: Re: Mac security

        Macs are not invincible of course. But the incidence of malware attacks vs. macs is pretty dramatically low (ok zero viruses vs. os X -- that is indisputably low!) compared to what you PC types have to defend yourself against. And my mac pro is really a joy to use. And it runs windows better than my dell when I want it to.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Mac security

          yea, but its dramatically low cause no one wants to bother writing malware or viruses for them. why waste time writing code that will only affect an extremely small amount of computers. it may have absolutely nothing to do with the actual security of macs, but more to do with the fact that no one uses them relatively.

          i've said it before. anyone who wants to make an argument that one is definitively better than the other is making a mistake. they're just better for different people. its all about what you look for. its just opinion.

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        • identicon
          AC, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Mac security

          " And it runs windows better than my dell when I want it to."

          When you want it too huh? That doesnt sound very good. Especially since I worked at Dell and know how they run.

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          • identicon
            greyst1crash, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mac security

            I believe he's referring to the fact that it runs windows better than his dell when he actually needs to run windows through boot camp or Parallels. Most of the time tho, I'm sure he uses OSX. My dell laptop works great, but I'm still getting a new Macbook asap simply because I know it will be a better experience. Nothing could make me buy another PC based computer. And there's no way in hell I'll buy the piece of crap ipod rip off Microsoft calls the Zune, but that's another story.

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            • identicon
              bryannn, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mac security

              MacBooks ARE PC based. The only diffrence is how they look and they come preloaded with OSX.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      Those of you who moan about Windows or Mac's being superior one way or another are ignorant fools.

      - Windows has FAR more know security vulnerabilities than OSX.

      - OSX is not invincible and if it had a larger market share it would likely have more issues when it comes to malware.

      - Windows has applications it does best and so does OSX

      - Some things Windows does better and some thing OSX does better; deal with it.

      All you lame fan boys who like to piss over which is better need to wake up. Use the best tool for the job and quit it with your obvious inferiority complexes.

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    • identicon
      TriZz, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      Ummmm - you are away that this is simply proof of concept and has nothing to do with an actual virus.

      ...it's a concept.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:01am

    They're doing something productive.

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  • identicon
    EXrider, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:32am

    Cite whatever reason you want. The fact remains that Mac OS X is still much more secure out of the box than Windows.

    Here's one example: Take a pre-XP SP2 machine (typical user doesn't know they need to turn on the firewall, win2k doesn't freakin' have one), you happen to use the restore CD; connect to the internet to re-install your subscription to Norton or McAfee, and grab 50,000 patches and updates. Uh oh! You're hit with malware left & right before you can even get it updated and secured!!! Show me a Mac that does that... Hmm?

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  • identicon
    EXrider, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:32am

    Cite whatever reason you want. The fact remains that Mac OS X is still much more secure out of the box than Windows.

    Here's one example: Take a pre-XP SP2 machine (typical user doesn't know they need to turn on the firewall, win2k doesn't freakin' have one), you happen to use the restore CD; connect to the internet to re-install your subscription to Norton or McAfee, and grab 50,000 patches and updates. Uh oh! You're hit with malware left & right before you can even get it updated and secured!!! Show me a Mac that does that... Hmm?

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    • identicon
      Steve, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:55am

      Re: Cite whatever...

      you obviously have no idea what you are writing about. If you ever had such an experience it was due to your own idiotic behaviour.

      Sure the whole PC experience can be bad and full of malware. This is what the PC experience teaches us that you have to be responsible for the websites you visit and the applications you install. With a Mac you don't need to be responbsible for your actions (yet) but it's true, I've seen my friend's mac slammed with pop-ups and I had a good laugh at him.

      My whole point is this; if you got slammed by malware after re-building your PC's o/s then it's very much your own fault. You cannot blame the OS for this, rather you must accept responsibility for your own actions! Surfing porn sites will get you infected with porn pop-ups. Sufing hacker sites will get you infected with trojans and key loggers.

      But alas your entire argument is based on a 4 year old O/S (Pre-SP2 winxp) that being WinXP Version2002 - or even the 7 year old Win2k - sure these did not have built in firewalls, but educate yourself first, because in 2000 the amount of malware was far less than it is now and this is why Window's came out with SP2 which included a dramatic security overhaul and has subsequently created and released the windows defender application.

      In all reality if you use the windows defender, you use the windows firewall, use a good anti-virus (I suggest AVG) and you spend a few minutes researching a downloaded program before you install it your computer will remain spyware and malware free. Don't believe me? Thats ok. But know that my computers are free from these issues because unlike you, I know what I am talking about.

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    • identicon
      Elohssa, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      Uh oh! You're hit with malware left & right before you can even get it updated and secured!!!

      I don't know what updates you've been pulling, but with malware, you pretty much have to go looking for trouble. If you can't update your box without getting eaten alive, then a Mac is definitely for you.

      So XP didn't come with an auto-on firewall. When did Mac implement this? 1984?

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  • identicon
    MacsAreOnlyAsSecureAsTheirSmallMarketShare, 27 Nov 2006 @ 7:43am

    Mac Security

    Get off your high freakin horse. Macs are only secure because there are so few of them. The virus writers want to go for the big numbers.

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  • identicon
    Apple13, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:03am

    Hilarious

    Of course there's vulnerabilities in OS X, it's written by humans. That doesn't mean that it's suddenly it an absolute nightmare like Windows. I don't care if it's because of low market share or because there's a little blue apple in the upper left-hand corner of my screen, I've NEVER had a virus. Working on a Mac offers pure productivity... which is why Windows users don't like them... they'd rather tinker around with fixing the machine rather than actually use it.

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    • identicon
      HalfSlant, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:08am

      Re: Hilarious

      ive always run windows and NEVER had a virus either... gg.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Hilarious

      I too have never had a virus in the 14 years I've had a PC.

      So what does that prove? PCs are invincible or I am reasonably compentent in the use of my PC?

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  • identicon
    Patrick, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:06am

    Oh mighty Mac

    Please with all the talk of how great Macs are. If Mac had the install base of PCs they would be attached too. How many major corps are deploying Macs. Why write a virus that might bring down 1% of the install base when you can shoot for the 90% install base. Macs are great working computers yes, they look slick, they run faster but they are expensive and they don't have the corporate install base and that is what will always keep them down.

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    • identicon
      Switcher, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:57am

      Re: Oh mighty Mac

      Well... don't be so sure. The mac *is* making it's way into the corporate world... by way of developers and small(er) businesses... Will it ever replace windows? Who knows? Who cares? As a developer I can say it is the best platform I have ever worked with (I've worked with Windows since the 3.11 WFW days as well as Linux and other UNIXes) and it *deserves* the accolades it gets...

      Is it a bulletproff, ultra-secure OS... no, it isn't OpenBSD after all. The Mac is, however, intrinsically more secure than Windows... and I hate that for Windows users! Microsoft should be ashamed and, more importantly, held accountable for their mess...

      Windows excels for gaming - I'll give it that - but for development, multimedia, and general productivity the Mac excels... and as long as that is true I'll continue to champion the Mac to any who will listen :-)

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  • identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:31am

    Mac security

    ambiguity is not security. most Mac users get those two mixed up. remember just because no one cares doesnt mean that your invulnrable.

    I have also run windows PCs for years and never had a virus. Even that time when I ran a PC for 6 months before I realised that I didn't have a virus scanner.

    All I'm asking is for people to quit complaining on windows security and start complaining about the real problems, Windows stability.

    PS. Show me a Mac that can use the Programs that I have and I'll switch to a mac. Not emulators.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:18am

      Re: Mac security

      PS. Show me a Mac that can use the Programs that I have and I'll switch to a mac. Not emulators.

      Switch to a mac anyways. Do "most" of your things in OS-X and switch to windows for that one or two app you need. No emulator needed. Just boot right on into windows.

      It might not be as good a solution as YOU buying apps that work on a different platform, but its still a better solution that using XP for EVERYTHING when you only need it for 10% of the time.

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    • identicon
      Daniel, 28 Nov 2006 @ 9:49am

      Re: Mac security

      I find it hard to belive that you have never had any kind of virus or malware your entire time on using windows. I have run many windows versions and while I have symantec installed everyonce in a great while i still run across a virus sounds like an understatement to me, but who knows

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:39am

    I've been a Windows person from day 1. I have rarely ever gotten any sort of malware in my system. In fact, the last time I had ANY sort of spyware at all on my own PC was about 4 years ago, give or take. I generally don't go out looking for sleazy websites, which helps a lot. When I do venture into the unknown, using Firefox prevents a lot of crap from ever having a chance of getting in. I have simple "set it and forget it" AV software, and I don't run any spyware scanners anymore because they never find anything.

    One thing you need to keep in mind is that Mac "productivity", while not really inhibited by malware attacks, is SERIOUSLY inhibited by the overall lack of applications that will run on a Mac. There is absolutely no way most businesses could ever switch to the Mac platform because they all use software for which there is no viable Mac-based alternative. You can't simply base productivity on one factor. I tried MacOS X once, and I felt crippled, because there just wasn't software available to do what I needed to do, thus my productivity was squelched.

    I have nothing against Macs overall, other than the fact that they don't work for me. It's a solid OS that's reliable and simple for a lot of people to use. However, what disgusts me is all the MS basher Mac users. Those people are a lot like the idiots who think they're invincible driving a 4x4 on slippery roads in the winter. All that does for you is give you better traction to get moving. It does not instantly allow you to stop on a dime or become a snow plow, therefore you can still crash into things or get stuck before you know it. With Macs, you may not have to generally deal with malware attacks and stuff, but there is a still a chance they could happen, and you need to be prepared to deal with them instead of wasting time bashing a platform that actually takes very little effort to secure and maintain.

    The day WILL come when Macs meet their match in malware attacks. Will you be ready?

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  • identicon
    James, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:43am

    it really is about responsible computing

    i can't for the life of me figure out how people get so infested with malware on any platform. i used XP pre-SP2 with no anti-virus software and no anti-spyware software from the time XP SP2 came out, and i never once had a single virus or any popups whatsoever. the only prophylactic measures i took were a run-of-the-mill hardware firewall and using Firefox and Thunderbird instead of IE and OE.

    i didn't even understand what all the fuss was about when the whole spyware thing exploded a few years back until i started seeing the laptops of our sales force coming in completely overrun by the stuff. at that point i did run an online scan from Trend Micro just to see if maybe i had something and wasn't aware of it. i also ran several spyware scanners (spybotSD, adaware, etc) and found nothing more than a few questionable cookies on my system. just to make sure you don't think that i'm some ultra-careful surfer who only looks at MS Update and Wired News or something, i surfed plenty of "free porn" and "cracks" and "cheats" sites in that time. by rights i should have been buried in pop-ups and viruses.

    i finally reinstalled my OS a few months ago after a third motherboard and video card upgrade finally made my rig unstable. it wasn't until then that i ran any virus protection at all (Avast - the personal, free edition). about 80% of the time that's even turned off because it just sucks up system resources.

    before XP i was a rabid M$ hater. i fought tooth and nail to move my company to Linux for mail instead of Exchange. i fought tooth and nail to get linux desktops to connect to our Citrix farm rather than 98. i still try to get my CIO to let me start putting Macs around the enterprise anywhere i think we can make them fit (which is now everywhere).

    XP has holes, just like any OS. the huge market share it enjoys makes it a bigger, juicier target than Linux or OSX. as more and more people use those "alternative" OS'es, those OS'es will become more and more of a target and the holes they have will be exposed.

    i'm not a MS apologist, but i will say that XP is a decent OS if you just pay a little bit of attention to what you do online.

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  • identicon
    James, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:47am

    ooops

    that should read "i used XP pre-SP2 with no anti-virus software and no anti-spyware software from the time XP came out until just after SP2 came out"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:52am

    Just wow...

    I run on a mac all day at work. (intel based) and I run on a PC mostly at home. I've been a PC man most of my life, and the switch to a mac for work was amazingly easy and intuitive. Before that I was using Linux at work.

    Linux is based off of Unix (same as OS X) and has a much higher install base. (In servers in 2001 Linux occupied 27% of all servers and I believe that number is much closer to 50% these days... just so we know what kinda of user base we have :-)) Now granted, these are servers, and not desktop machines, but server hacks are just as valuable, if not more so to hackers than hacking the average desktop user. With that being said, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of Linux being a strong solid OS that prevents the VAST majority of any hacking that might be tried against it. OS X being Unix based, will receive the benefit of a significant chunk of this superiority due to the nature of open source. Not that OS X is open source but it does inherit from it freely... a tactic we've seen MS use in the past (can you say IP protocol?) but they don't receive the benefits quite as linearly.

    Ultimately OSX has a serious leg up on MS... even if the markets were split 50/50 the sets of vulnerabilities that come packaged with any MS OS far outnumber what is likely to be in OS X.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:58am

    I just switched two weeks ago...

    ...and OS-X is far more secure than XP-SP2.

    (I switched not from the ipud halo effect, but because as an IT consultant, I have had more and more exposure to them in my clients's workforces, and OS-X just grew on me. the bigest enabling factor was boot camp. If I ever "need" to run an app in windows, I can. Right now I don't, so boot camp isnt installed yet)

    Overall, yes, OS-X is more secure.

    However, you still start off in a mock-single user environment, with the OOB wizard creating an admin account with no password. Thats not a vulnerability, per se, but it is plain stupid.

    Its easy to create an alt account for admin duties, and also quite easy to demote your user account. but then, its just as easy to do that in windows.

    In windows, there are TONNES of malware that need an admin account (wth no password) to do anything..

    Once malware writers start targeting OS-X you can bet that there will be people who wonder how they got infected. And I will be there to tell them that no matter what platform they use, they have to do SOMETHING to prevent the "keyboard to chair extension" from compromising the system.

    Not every application can be trusted 100%. Don't run it with admin rights if theres no reason to.

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  • identicon
    ModestOne, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:09am

    I think all this is hillarious. I have ran Windows based PC computers for over 10 years.

    I have never once had a virus, and belive it or not, I DO NOT RUN A VIRUS SCANNER ALL THE TIME. Infact, I rarely run one. If I feel I have aqquired a questionable file, I will scan the file.

    I have never suffered from spyware, nor malware in general. And my machines are on typically 24 hours a day, obviously connected to the internet at all times.

    I have never ran a software firewall, except when windows included it.

    And how do I accomplish this (apperantly) impossible feat?

    I PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM DOING ON MY COMPUTER. I don't use it like a microwave, I respect it, I learn from it, and about it.

    I learn what threats are out there, and what to avoid.

    Now to the real point, your precious Mac's may not be under attack YET, but when they are, all you dunce's that think you can just sit there using your Mac, and never have to spend ANY TIME learning about your computer, learning about the possible risks, learning how to fix potential problems, etc, are going to be in for alot of trouble.

    When that happens, and it will, what will you do then? Start using a "Speak and Spell" because its easy, and you don't have to learn anything about it?

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  • identicon
    modestone, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:14am

    Oh and the only reason OSX is worth a damn, is because of all the great open source resources they stole from.

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  • identicon
    Security, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:20am

    In terms of security, there are three things you must think about. Vulnerabilities, threat and risk. Vendors will switch around these 3 things as interchangeable, but they are not. A vulnerability is just a security weakness or a hole in your system or network. A threat is something that will be able to take advantage of that weakness. The risk is of course what can happen if the previous two occur. What is the risk to Mac users now that the first two have been pointed out? Probably not a whole lot, as criminals like to target the masses. You might not want to do on-line banking from your Mac, but chances are, you will be ok, because the financial rewards for criminal activity over Macs really isn't an attractive target.

    Realistically, the biggest vulnerability for any computer system (Windows, Linux or Apple) is the user.

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  • identicon
    wolff000, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:22am

    Mac War!!!

    How came anytime the mac is mentioned PC users attack like a rabid dogs. Not like Mac people are any better with many of them sounding so elitist they would stick thier nose up at Steve Jobs. Why can't we all just get along? We all like tech and computers, and we all hate malware, whether we get it or not. Macs are very solid boxes that run well, one of the main reasons for that is you can only by mac from Apple, a company that takes a lot of time to make sure each unit is working. PCs on the other hand are made by millions of companies most of whom simply dump as many as they can on the market for as cheap as possible. They aren't trying to build a client base or worried about repeat business. I myself ride the line I loke both. My one main thing I have against Mac is price. I can build a machine myself that will run just as fast and be just as reliable for half the price I can buy a Mac.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:52am

      Re: Mac War!!!

      My one main thing I have against Mac is price. I can build a machine myself that will run just as fast and be just as reliable for half the price I can buy a Mac.

      That's not really true anymore. It might be true still if you decide to fill a really crappy case with really crappy components, but its not true if your comparision is in quality comonents. Especially not when laptops are concerned. The only BIY laptop barebones sets are ... really crappy.

      However that is one thing that windows will always have over macs. You CAN make a dirt cheap POS system if you stick with windows. (And I dont mean point of sale...)

      But if you try to config a laptop to come close to the specs of the macbook pro, you're not going to find anything cheaper from Dell, or Toshiba, and visually, if I had to run windows, I'd rather have a pretty Macbook Pro to run it from. Especially if its cheaper.

      I dont buy desktops for personal use anymore... but I do know you can buy some really crappy windows boxes from dell that will make anyone cry.

      Flexibility comes at a price.

      The scarcity in apple-land means customers suffer from not being able to choose.

      The abundance in windows-land means everyone who supports windows or applications has to deal with the least common denominator.

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    • identicon
      Baal, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:22am

      Re: Mac War!!!

      Bullshit! I see more MAC users jump on the bashing band wagon then PC users. I don't like MAC at all, however I do respect it's potential in graphics design. Which I feel is its only respective feature it will ever have. MAC's only find homes in industries that deal with it's strength. For the rest of the world...PC is dominating. My college even bought a ton of MAC's and there's more dust on those keyboards then the rafters have in the ceiling. The only use the monitors ever got was from me using them for a LAN at the school.

      Doesn't matter if you have MAC or PC. There is no sure secure way of keeping it from virus writers or hackers. Even the much loved Linux system I run I have to take precautions. Cyryl said it best with the one factor that hits every system out there...you the user and how ignorant people can be when it comes to file sharing. There's no amount of firewall, anti-virus or any cleaners out there that will fix that problem. The only help that can come about is the techs like me that are trained to repair those systems from the ignorant and naive users of the world. My hats off to you people. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have my house, you wouldn't have paid for my education, my children wouldn't have everything they ever wanted.

      It's all on preference of you're capability and usage. I even begged my college to train me on the MAC OS and as big of place that I attend they told me no, there's no reason go train you for that because it's not going to be seen in your field of work. Computer/Electronics Engineering.

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  • identicon
    u no, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:27am

    true

    The last sentence of the article says it all.

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  • identicon
    Tired of the Mac Hype!!!, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:45am

    Mac

    If any of you Mac lovers out there believe for a moment that you are living in a world that is, and always will be virus, trojan and malware free you are fools. As MACs become more popular, and their marketshare increases you WILL see more and more attacks on Macs especially if Mac continues to make themselves a target by saying it can't be done. The unfortnate reality is that most Mac users live in a state of false security. They have little or no additional hardware / software security because they are misinformed and believe that you have nothing to worry about. Afterall, Mac's are virus free, malware free, trojan frree and don't break...right? By the way, if the Mac OS is sooooo much better, why is one of the Apple Stores strongest selling points, the BENEFIT of using Windows on them. I thought you can do anything on the MAC and do it easier... If that is true then using windows on a Mac ..well....wouldn't that be like going backwords!!! I sold Mac's in the past and when they break (AND THEY DO BREAK REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HEAR) it is a nightmare getting parts for them from Apple. Don't believe me...ask anyone who purchased the original G5' and had it fail shorly after purchase. If nothing else, when a piece of hardware or software gives you trouble on a PC you can easily get software, parts and tech support at most neighbourhood computer stores. Can you say that about the Apple? I don't think so. Just about everything outside of the harddrive is proprietory. Live in our own "safe world" and hope that someone doesn't throw a worm in that apple of yours. Oh, and to the guy that made the comment about the Zune being crap...I've had mine for almost two weeks now and have being using it non stop with no problem. My wife has purchased the iPod Mini, and the Video iPOD for me as Christmas gifts in the past and neither one of them lasted for more than two days. The nano's were also a nightmare...we got may returns after the holidays last year.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 9:59am

    Lets not all forget

    That Firefox was hailed as uber-secure too. Until it got some traction.

    Then it was revealed it was FAR WEAKER in security than its M$ counterpart for two years straight.

    Is OS-X going to prove the same way? Only time will tell. However, anyone that practices good security techiques will be less vulnerable than someone who practices security sloppiness. Regardless of platform or religious zealotry.

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  • identicon
    Apple13, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:08am

    Yeah!!!

    You Windows folks make me happy with your comments... you won't be switching and therefore cluttering our world... that makes me smile :)

    Oh, and one more thing... We're not clueless about security but we do get a good laugh every time we here about a virus that doesn't effect OS X.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rustedshut, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:21am

    ok

    I think Macs are swell. I also think this article is very pro-Windows. Isn't that right, Steve? Yep.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Apple13, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:31am

    Hee hee

    I love you, PC peeps :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    J, 27 Nov 2006 @ 10:43am

    Hype-othetical

    Just wanted to note the observation often people try to use hypothetical situations to try and justify their argument when discussing a non-hypothetical situation. (I.E. "If Mac had 90% of the market share then they would be attacked more"). You have to take those kinds of arguments out of view when trying to gauge how "secure" an OS may or may not be. Concrete information is the easiest way to get a point across. But then again, we're talking about a whole lot of people who get WAY to overprotective over something as simple as which OS your running...

    Either way there is a simple solutions to all of these arguments: Run linux :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 11:14am

    My biggest problem with Macs, are their elitest attitudes. The PC bashing Mac crowd is 10 times worse then the flip side.

    Infact, even Apple's marketing shares the same attitude.

    These comercials they run are not only annoying, but blatently wrong.

    For example, they allways cite "macs are for fun! PC's are nothing but work!"

    Okay then Mr. Mac, lets see you play some GAMES, is that not what qualifies as something that produces fun?

    Is it just me or is organizing photos, and music not exactally a FUN task, as they try to make it sound.

    And as far as Mac's being more graphicly inclined, again, utter BS. Sure more HUGE graphics companies use Macs then PC's. But why? Because they have to in order to do what they need? NO. All the high end graphics programs have windows versions with no difference.

    They use them because of Apple's marketing, and because they have the so much money, they can throw it away on things that are premium priced (assuming it is therefore better) instead of actually doing research and finding out they can save lots of money, and do the exact same thing.

    Apple only exists today for people that belive everything they see on tv / read in a magazine / or are told so by there "so-called" techie friends.

    So lets recap,

    Computers for FUN, Mac can't hold a straw to windows.

    Computers for work, lets see an ISP run their network on Mac's.

    HAH!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    modestone, 27 Nov 2006 @ 11:20am

    My biggest problem with Macs, are their elitest attitudes. The PC bashing Mac crowd is 10 times worse then the flip side.

    Infact, even Apple's marketing shares the same attitude.

    These comercials they run are not only annoying, but blatently wrong.

    For example, they allways cite "macs are for fun! PC's are nothing but work!"

    Okay then Mr. Mac, lets see you play some GAMES, is that not what qualifies as something that produces fun?

    Is it just me or is organizing photos, and music not exactally a FUN task, as they try to make it sound.

    And as far as Mac's being more graphicly inclined, again, utter BS. Sure more HUGE graphics companies use Macs then PC's. But why? Because they have to in order to do what they need? NO. All the high end graphics programs have windows versions with no difference.

    They use them because of Apple's marketing, and because they have the so much money, they can throw it away on things that are premium priced (assuming it is therefore better) instead of actually doing research and finding out they can save lots of money, and do the exact same thing.

    Apple only exists today for people that belive everything they see on tv / read in a magazine / or are told so by there "so-called" techie friends.

    So lets recap,

    Computers for FUN, Mac can't hold a straw to windows.

    Computers for work, lets see an ISP run their network on Mac's.

    HAH!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 11:38am

    Ultimatly, it comes down to this.

    If you are a person who will only ever use a computer to browse the web, and check email, mabey do a little photo stuff, then by all means, get a Mac now while you actually don't have to learn anything / watch out for threats.

    But please please please, no matter how fooled you are into thinking you will never have to deal with these problems, PLEASE learn what things you shuold obviously avoid, under any circumstance, mac or not.

    However if you want a computer that you can do the things mentioned above, plus all the other wonderful things a computer can do for us, do your self a favor and get a PC. Regardless you will eventually HAVE to learn the ropes, in another 5 years this will become alot more evident.

    If you want a computer that is more akin to your toaster, or microwave, meaning you will only really use it for one or two specific tasks go for the Mac, it will fit your needs.

    If you want a computer that can do all the great things that COMPUTERS CAN DO, get a PC, no question about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    modest one, 27 Nov 2006 @ 11:42am

    Ultimatly, it comes down to this.

    If you are a person who will only ever use a computer to browse the web, and check email, mabey do a little photo stuff, then by all means, get a Mac now while you actually don't have to learn anything / watch out for threats.

    But please please please, no matter how fooled you are into thinking you will never have to deal with these problems, PLEASE learn what things you shuold obviously avoid, under any circumstance, mac or not.

    However if you want a computer that you can do the things mentioned above, plus all the other wonderful things a computer can do for us, do your self a favor and get a PC. Regardless you will eventually HAVE to learn the ropes, in another 5 years this will become alot more evident.

    If you want a computer that is more akin to your toaster, or microwave, meaning you will only really use it for one or two specific tasks go for the Mac, it will fit your needs.

    If you want a computer that can do all the great things that COMPUTERS CAN DO, get a PC, no question about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 27 Nov 2006 @ 12:06pm

    HAHAHAHAHA

    This is great, I love these kinds of stores. I've always said if crAPPLE had even 1/10th of the user base and attempts at corrupting the OS that Microsoft and the PC contend with we'd see bugs all ove the place. The same could said, I'd venture, for Linux, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 2:54pm

    Another case of Shaw's First Law here, I think.

    The main advantage that M$ have in keeping Widows in front is that all the 16-21 year olds who want to play games will buy Windows (or, more likely, get a hacked copy off of one of thier frinds - I know 8 ppl who used the same copy of XP, and thaere were about 20 ppl who used the same copy of Office 2k in a group of 120 students) so that they can play Direct X games without the slow down that you get when using WINE, which you relally don't need when you need a better gpu anyway. Now if someone were to make an open sourcev ersion of DX which was perfectly compatible with the calls used in the current version of DX, and keep it up to date and reliable (it could be based partly on Open GL code, i should think), it would be far more trivial to hack a Windows-only game, and port ity to Linux, eroding the support from the neew windows users, and encouraging them to convert to Linux. The only porblem is pirating Photoshop (which schools tend to use) and 3Dsmax. The main eason I use XP is for games and FileMaker Pro5, which I had to use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 3:52pm

    Success and Failure

    So, children, what have we learned? The only reason Macs are more successful in the security domain is because that measure is inversely proportional to Mac's relative business success. You're safe because Apple had early marketing failures.

    I stand with the others--Mac fanboys are elitist know-it-all punks. Most vocal PC people are merely trying to defend themselves from being called ignorant fools just because they use a system that isn't as "cool" as Apple's. The security problems either aren't really problems or can be easily dealt with, the stability "problems" have largely gone away IMO, the high-end artistic applications are made by the same companies for both platforms and I haven't noticed any difference in speed of performance, and, I must say, I just have confidence in a platform that has enough confidence in me to think I can handle a two-button mouse.

    So, PCs are on the whole more useful and problems are minimal or easily diminished, but Macs will probably always have a cooler image--just like Creative Zen vs. iPod MP3 players. Whoopee. You can sit there all smug with your iPod and PowerBook, but I choose productivity, price, convenience, and flexibility/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 5:25pm

    I've still never understood this fascination with "mine is better than yours".

    Something I've noticed is that Mac users tend to say "omg why are you using Windows it sucks use a Mac it's way better", whereas PC/Windows users tend to have the opinion of "I use Windows, you use a Mac. Each to his own."

    This goes the same for Linux/BSD vs Windows. *nix "leetists" are more likely to say "Linux/BSD is teh pwn sif use Windows it is le ghey", whereas Windows users would say "I use Windows, you use Linux. Each to his own."
    Also, the rivalry between Linux and BSD is just plain ridiculous.

    Let's lose the egos and get off the high horses folks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Nov 2006 @ 5:28pm

    I have little respect for people who type M$ instead of MS.
    Grow up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Elitist, 27 Nov 2006 @ 8:14pm

    I'm not interested in a stupid platform war... tensions run too high on all sides...

    It is interesting to see, though, that most points are made based on limited or no knowledge of what is being criticized ... and the fact that despite what platform you use (be it by choice or necessity) there simply is no substitute for being educated about the software you use.

    Exploits prey on people that don't know what they are doing for the most part...

    FWIW, I like the Mac way of doing things... it fits my style and allows me to run all the things I need (Photoshop, Office) while giving me access to a solid UNIX core... but if it doesn't work for you then don't use it...

    There is no "best", people - using Linux doesn't make you a hacker, using Windows doesn't make you knowledgeable, using a Mac doesn't make you elite ... unless, of course, *you* have the skills to back it up :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rishi, 28 Nov 2006 @ 3:47am

    There has been talk about how virus writers are not going for high value, high visibility targets.

    This is a problem for the macs, as the virus writers focus on smaller targets, macs become more vulnerable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rahrens (profile), 28 Nov 2006 @ 4:57am

    market share

    Ok, let's blow this myth outta the water and get it over with.

    The Mac isn't more secure due to low market share. Windows isn't attacked just because it has a bigger market share.

    Market share is only PART of the equation. The big thing in malware today is the bot armies. Not the older trojans and viruses of yesteryear that still bloat the AV definitions lists. (and, by the way, the numbers gloated over by some Mac fans)

    Today it is all about getting the bots on PCs so they can be used either as DDOS bots, or to steal banking or other financial information.

    So, yes, in that sense, PCs are more attractive. NOT because of market share, but because of the ease with which the bots can be placed. There are a LOT of PCs that are not kept up to date. These are the targets. Malware authors want to build bot armies as large as they can, but most really big ones don't go over six figures, and many are only in the five figures. PCs with Windows installed are bigger targets because they aren't always protected by updates.

    BUT, Macs are out there in big enough numbers, too. They may not be as large in percentages, but with twenty million installed, there are more than enough to build bot armies around. But as far as we know, there aren't. Why not? Because they aren't as easy to actually get the malware on and running, at least as far as we know now.

    Will that change in the future? Maybe, but since Unix, as a system, is more secure than Windows, and requires admin passwords to install software, it'll be a stretch.

    Vista should help there, at least a few years in the future as the older PCs with less secure versions of Windows on them die out. But for now, low market share is only PART of the issue. Actual security being built into the system is a bigger part.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2006 @ 7:12am

    Being both a mac and pc user for years, i must say, there is on one true "better" system.

    i mean, if you want a pice of toast, what would you rather do, use a toaster, or build a fire, get some metal, heat it up, put the bread on it, cook it, flip it, repeat? you take the toaster (unless it's not available, but that's another story)

    the questions is what is easier? mac or pc? i will say, that a majoridy of most pc programs are insert dick click ok, and your good to go. most mac programs aren't. (at least what i've dealt with) example: Matlab. (math progam/programming software) installed on a pc just fine. however, when trying to install on a mac, had to recomplie the program to add ceratin addons. (not a problem for me, but difficult for first time users.


    to the guy with ipod trubles: sorry for your issues. i've had my ipod for 2 years, constantly dropping and whatnot. i thought it went last week, i tried to turn it on, no power. plugged in, not charging. i was confused. i left it sit for 3 days, came back to it, plugged it in, worked fine. however after being dropped a few times, there are parts of the hd that are bad, so my 20GB (just over 18gb real storage) now has about 14.4 (real) storage. i had a Rio mp3 player, lasted a week, and one small drop (about 2 feet) before it stopped working ENTIRELY.

    ohwell. as they say, to each his own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Consider this, 28 Nov 2006 @ 10:21pm

    Market share vs. Viruses

    So does it make one feel better to have an STD knowing that, after all, their partner was with everyone in town?

    Then does one feel bad that they don't have an STD only because their partner isn't banging everyone in town?

    Bottom line is that the numbers of viruses, etc. on Mac's is infinitely lower than on Windows platforms. I don't care if it's market share, solar angles or magic plastic the fact it that there are more problems on Windows.

    Most of the security flaws are just hoisted by "attention whore" companies that know that most of the "cut and paste" tech plagerists, I mean "journalists" don't have the brains to do any critical analysis.

    Let's be real how threatening is something that took 5 years to find and can barely be demoed?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2006 @ 8:41pm

    I find it hard to believe that the Mac security has as much to do with low market share as everyone wants to believe.

    Think about the way these hacker nerds are: everyone says it's so hard to hack a Mac, so wouldn't that motivate a hacker to be the genius who managed to pull it off? Wouldn't all the hackers be eager to prove the legendary Mac security to be a rumor so that they could laugh at Apple while feeling all cool and smart?

    Yet, you never here about Apple computers being infected. You'd think at least one brilliant hacker out there would want to expose Apple as an insecure product, but I guess not.

    Get where I'm going with this?

    Anyway, to the ignorant guy who said creative professionals only prefer Macs because they "believe everything they see in commercials:" B.S. I mean honestly, these are some serious investments; do you have any idea how much a single editing station costs? I'm a film student, and just the Mac Pro (without Avid's obscenely expensive add-ons, such as Mojo) is gonna set you back about $7,000, give or take something. I doubt that the studios, as rich as they are, are going to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment because "It sounded cool on the commercial!" Give me a break. Mac's are the most stable, and hence contribute to better results- THAT is why they are favored by most creative professionals.

    And yes, money is important to these studios- why do you think they're all still using Avid instead of Final Cut? Final Cut gives you the same results at a fraction of the cost, but since the studios have already invested a shitload of money in their Avid systems, they're reluctant to make a switch any time soon. But once the current Avid systems get outdated, I guarantee that you'll see more and more films being edited with Final Cut, simply becuase it's the less-expensive and easier-to-use way to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert A. Ogrodny, 28 Dec 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Micro/mac wars

    I spent a bunch for my mac after suffering with my pc for ten years. worth every penny! I just spent 3 daze cleaning up my Dell to give to my girl(not to mention the $ sent to Uncle Norton) I did nothing productive on the pc but get it deloused . I have never spent one dime ur a second of time doing anything but using my mac, for my own pleasure. All you have to do is figure out what you would rather do, fix or use. I'm no geek , and could care less about the wars, i am just happy to do in a day what used to take a week, and with little aggravation and lots of fun. seems like a simple choice to me. and i question that it even costs more in the long run. shrinks are expensive! macs are not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CentralX, 23 Sep 2007 @ 9:12am

    DUDES! OMG!

    Dudes! You're all so ignorant. All the crap about malware being dependant on market share. Come on! OSX is based off UNIX, a system which has been around since the late 60's. You can surely say it has matured and thouroughly tested by now. Why do you think Apple chose to base their OSX on UNIX? Because it's stable, dudes! 60% of the internet is running on UNIX based computers, whether it be OSX, Linux, BSD or another flavour of UNIX. So, you can surely say it's an interesting target for hackers and virus/malware writers, but does it happen? NO! It's something that says enough by itself...

    Let's face it, UNIX has been designed with security in mind from the very start of development, in contrast with Windows, which was mainly a Single User operating system with security features added later on. It's hard to change an existing codebase dudes.

    So... yes, UNIX is more resistant to viruses/malware because in the more than 30 years it has been around it still isn't flooded with malware. Simple analysis!

    Wake up dudes!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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