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Re: [wpmac] Mac Security (New York Times)

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  • John W
    Right on, Paul. The comparison the author makes is really bogus. All of the successful attacks required physical access to the Mac, or took advantage of
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 7, 2009
      Right on, Paul. The comparison the author makes is really bogus. All of the "successful" attacks required physical access to the Mac, or took advantage of browser weaknesses, or used Microsoft Office macros. None of these are comparable to the attacks that have wreaked havoc on Windows users. (And all of them have been repaired.) 
      Apple does repair any security issue as soon as they can after discovery. And Apple does not recommend the use of a security program. On the other hand, a PC is at serious risk if it's virus software isn't on.
      John

      TODAY'S QUOTE: "I never vote for anyone. I always vote against." - W.C. Fields

      --- On Tue, 4/7/09, Paul Hogan <paul.hogan.atty@...> wrote:

      From: Paul Hogan <paul.hogan.atty@...>
      Subject: Re: [wpmac] Mac Security (New York Times)
      To: wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 8:53 PM

      The article says:Yet Macs’ relative safety is primarily due to their
      still-slim market share. They’re simply a waste of time for today’s
      attackers, who are trying to accomplish crime on a large scale by
      infiltrating millions of computers.
      If Apple sells about 2 million Macs a quarter, and they stay in use for 3
      years, that is 24 million Macs. If a crook wants to infiltrate millions of
      computers, there they are, waiting to be plundered and used by people that
      don't buy software to protect themselves. To me, that makes them more of a
      target, not less of a target. So, if they remain relatively safe, perhaps it
      is for a reason other than their market share.
      Paul Hogan

      On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 5:32 PM, John Rethorst <jrethorst@...> wrote:

      >
      > http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/macs-arent-safer-just-a-smaller-target/
      >
      > John R.
      >

      >


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    • Malcolm Fitzgerald
      ... Nice headline. Let s turn it around. How about : Crooks see no profit in Macs Then rewrite the main point of the story to make one point clear: Windows
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 7, 2009
        On 08/04/2009, at 10:32 AM, John Rethorst wrote:

        > http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/macs-arent-safer-just-a-smaller-target/

        Nice headline. Let's turn it around. How about : "Crooks see no profit
        in Macs"

        Then rewrite the main point of the story to make one point clear:

        Windows OS is under continuous attack by nefarious organisations that
        seek to profit from any vulnerabilities that they can exploit. That is
        bad news for any Windows user. The Macintosh OS is not attacked or
        threatened in that way. That is good news for any Macintosh user.


        Malcolm
      • Patrick Sheffield
        Another theory put forward used to be that Macs were too expensive for eastern euro-hackers with no budget. But with a VERY active hackintosh scene, that
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 8, 2009
          Another theory put forward used to be that Macs were too expensive for
          eastern euro-hackers with no budget. But with a VERY active hackintosh
          scene, that theory is put to rest...

          Patrick

          On Apr 7, 2009, at 9:52 PM, Randy B. Singer wrote:

          >
          > On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:53 PM, Paul Hogan wrote:
          >
          > > The article says:Yet Macs� relative safety is primarily due to their
          > > still-slim market share.
          >
          > I just submitted this to the site. We'll see if they post it:
          >
        • Chad Smith
          I think both sides are oversimplifying things. It is true - Macs are less of a target. Security through obscurity is very much in play. It is also true that
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 8, 2009
            I think both sides are oversimplifying things.

            It is true - Macs are less of a target. Security through obscurity is very
            much in play.
            It is also true that Mac OS X, being a Unix based system designed from the
            ground up this century, is by its very nature a more secure system.

            It is also true that Windows is a much bigger (read more profitable and more
            headlines grabbing) target than Mac.
            It is also true that Windows is buggy, bloated, and burdened with supporting
            over 15 years of legacy apps and leftover code from an operating system
            designed before there was a world wide web. There is still code from
            Windows 95 in Windows 7. Core code. All of this makes it much more of an
            easy target.

            The expense of Macs also can be prohibited for hackers, (European or
            otherwise), who are not known for paying full price for anything. And the
            Hackintosh scene may change that. (I, for example, have both a MacBook and
            a $350 netbook that is running Mac OS X 10.5.6.)

            However, what that last part overlooks is - hackers are not
            super-intelligent uber-coders who can crank out a world-stopping virus in 60
            minutes with nothing more than a text editor on a Pentium 2. Nor are they
            slick reluctant heroes who can hijack the Pentegon in 60 seconds if they
            have a gun to their heads. They are greedy losers who "stand on the backs
            of giants" by tweaking existing viruses, trojans, and worms to do what they
            want them to do. The term is "Script kiddies". They just lump a bunch of
            scripts that they find on their darknets together to make it do something.

            Are their hackers writing original code? Sure - there would have to be,
            right? But most viruses - the vast majority of them - are just variations
            on a theme. Even this latest major bug "Conficker" was actually "Conflicker
            D" meaning there were at least 3 preceding viruses.

            All that so say - add to the secure nature of Mac OS X, its limitations on
            the hardware it supports, its expense, and its smaller target size - add to
            all that the lack of existing malware raw materials for the hackers to use.
            Then throw in Windows decades of vulenarablities, its familiarity to
            hackers, the vast treasure houses of existing malware to play with, the
            bigger target, its widespread use in businesses, banks, and governments, (IE
            - Where the real money is), and it's much larger marketshare... Mix, bake,
            and serve. Somewhere in there do you get the "true reason" why Macs are
            ultimately pragmatically malware free.

            In the end, though, the reason why doesn't really matter (until that reason
            changes and we're no longer safe). The fact remains I don't need antivirus,
            antispyware, antiadware, etc. software on my MacBook. That's good enough
            for me.

            - Chad Smith
            http://www.chadwsmith.com/


            On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:24 AM, Patrick Sheffield
            <psheffield@...>wrote:

            > Another theory put forward used to be that Macs were too expensive for
            > eastern euro-hackers with no budget. But with a VERY active hackintosh
            > scene, that theory is put to rest...
            >
            > Patrick
            >
            > On Apr 7, 2009, at 9:52 PM, Randy B. Singer wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:53 PM, Paul Hogan wrote:
            > >
            > > > The article says:Yet Macs� relative safety is primarily due to their
            > > > still-slim market share.
            > >
            > > I just submitted this to the site. We'll see if they post it:
            > >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


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