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View Full Version : Move to Intel a Security Non-Issue for Apple


MacBytes
Jan 31, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Move to Intel a Security Non-Issue for Apple (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060131200850)
Description:: Opinion: OS vulnerabilities are a result of OS characteristics, and the CPU they run on is pretty much irrelevant.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

yankeefan24
Jan 31, 2006, 07:48 PM
Didn't we already know that???

Dr. Dastardly
Jan 31, 2006, 11:29 PM
Didn't we already know that???
No, everyone should have known that, big difference. If you go back through the forums when it was announced you'll actually be suprised with how many people thought by just a proc change there would be an onslaught of viruses.

Eidorian
Jan 31, 2006, 11:31 PM
No, everyone should have known that, big difference. If you go back through the forums when it was announced you'll actually be suprised with how many people thought by just a proc change there would be an onslaught of viruses.Ugh, I remember those posts too. It's a CPU, not an OS.

~Shard~
Jan 31, 2006, 11:37 PM
Yep, glad the record is finally being set straight. And with this latest power leak due to a Windows driver bug, this is even more proof that Macs will not be subjected the same ailments that their Windows counterparts will. :cool:

cwtnospam
Feb 1, 2006, 07:51 AM
Why did he have to repeat the marketshare myth?
They weren't worth exploiting because there are a dearth of actual Mac systems out there,...
There are at least 30 million Macs in service, and the Symbian OS for cell phones got its first virus when it had just a few hundred (<500,000) thousand users. At that rate, the Mac OS should have at least 60 times as many viruses as the Symbian OS, but it has none. How can anyone believe the marketshare myth?

AlmostThere
Feb 1, 2006, 07:58 AM
Why did he have to repeat the marketshare myth?

There are at least 30 million Macs in service, and the Symbian OS for cell phones got its first virus when it had just a few hundred (<500,000) thousand users. At that rate, the Mac OS should have at least 60 times as many viruses as the Symbian OS, but it has none. How can anyone believe the marketshare myth?
Please provide another, more likely explanation. Provably exploitable vulnerabilities exist but there is no implementation of malware. Why?

[edit] on the topic of symbian viruses, any chance of a reference? As far as I was aware, these all require active user intervention from untrustworthy sources i.e. comparable to entering a password on OS X

~Shard~
Feb 1, 2006, 09:13 AM
Why did he have to repeat the marketshare myth?

There are at least 30 million Macs in service, and the Symbian OS for cell phones got its first virus when it had just a few hundred (<500,000) thousand users. At that rate, the Mac OS should have at least 60 times as many viruses as the Symbian OS, but it has none. How can anyone believe the marketshare myth?

Not the best example, but I see what you mean.

I think the simpler and more accurate example is that OS X is UNIX/FreeBSD. Plain and simple. UNIX is inherently secure, so the fact that there isn't a large install base of OS X (and therefore hackers must not want to waste their time developing exploits for it) is simply inaccurate and irrelevant. UNIX = security. :cool:

nagromme
Feb 1, 2006, 11:44 AM
Absolutely Macs are a target for crackers. A BIG one, an ATTRACTIVE one, and a PROFITABLE one, and they have been for years.

OS X has been around for years, now--and it's partly based on technologies and OS's (BSD, NeXT) familiar to tech afficianados for even longer. Crackers of a certain type have sought challenges and prestige for years. Macs have been worth extra points in cracking contests for years. Users of other platforms have long felt jealousy toward Macs, and would love to take them down a peg. More so now than ever before, with the Mac platform finally starting to be seen as the success that it is. And some high-profile specific targets, like universities, media companies, scientific research labs, and the US Army, use Mac OS X. Then throw in the specific challenges and prizes that have been offered from time to time for the first real-world, succesful Mac OS X virus.

The incentives ARE there, in a big way. AS big an incentive as Windows? Overall, no--but in some ways (prestige for instance) the incentive is higher for OS X than for Windows.

And what makes people think crackers would have no interest in any target BUT the single biggest? They have more interest in Windows, but plenty of interest in other platforms too--UNIXes included. (Honda Accords, last I heard, are the most common target of theft. That doesn't make them the ONLY target.)

There are a LOT of unethical programmers in the world... some with a desire to do more than be a "script kiddie."

So it's a certainty that at least SOME people have been trying to make OS X viruses--for quite some time. They've never managed it yet, but they WILL.

Then we'll have one virus instead of zero... and I'll still be safer than a Windows user :)

I'll also note that the raw "number of vulnerabilities" is not an accurate picture of an OS's security. You also have to look at two other factors: how EXPLOITABLE each vulnerability is, and what can be DONE with it if it is exploited. For instance, many Mac "vulnerabilities" seem to require an attacker to physically sit down at your computer. That's still an important problem to address, but it does NOT help make a virus. And other exploits are limited to a single user account, unable to modify the system itself. So they too don't help make a successful virus.

jhu
Feb 2, 2006, 05:59 PM
Absolutely Macs are a target for crackers. A BIG one, an ATTRACTIVE one, and a PROFITABLE one, and they have been for years.

OS X has been around for years, now--and it's partly based on technologies and OS's (BSD, NeXT) familiar to tech afficianados for even longer. Crackers of a certain type have sought challenges and prestige for years. Macs have been worth extra points in cracking contests for years. Users of other platforms have long felt jealousy toward Macs, and would love to take them down a peg. More so now than ever before, with the Mac platform finally starting to be seen as the success that it is. And some high-profile specific targets, like universities, media companies, scientific research labs, and the US Army, use Mac OS X. Then throw in the specific challenges and prizes that have been offered from time to time for the first real-world, succesful Mac OS X virus.

The incentives ARE there, in a big way. AS big an incentive as Windows? Overall, no--but in some ways (prestige for instance) the incentive is higher for OS X than for Windows.

And what makes people think crackers would have no interest in any target BUT the single biggest? They have more interest in Windows, but plenty of interest in other platforms too--UNIXes included. (Honda Accords, last I heard, are the most common target of theft. That doesn't make them the ONLY target.)


we're long past the days when virus writers wrote their malware for prestige. now they work for the mob or spammers and use zombified machines for distributed denial of service attacks to extort money from websites, gather import passwords, etc. this slashdot post (http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=176055&cid=14630267) sums things nicely. i think there was a wired article detailing how a website was blackmailed by a russian mob.

nagromme
Feb 2, 2006, 07:07 PM
Crime/profit is the norm for viruses now, certainly. But it's not the ONLY reason people make a virus. Tomorrow's Kama Sutra worm is evidence of that.

And there's ample reason to target Macs other than prestige, too.