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Old Jan 27, 2006, 10:25 PM   #1
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Apple's Switch to Intel Could Allow OS X Exploits




Category: Mac OS X
Link: Apple's Switch to Intel Could Allow OS X Exploits
Description:: Apple's shift to Intel processors will make it easier to create software exploits in Macintosh systems, analysts warn.

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Old Jan 27, 2006, 10:29 PM   #2
GoCubsGo
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I never understood the worry. Exploits are software and the intel chip is a piece of hardware. Why would anything else change?
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 11:26 PM   #3
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It will be interesting to see whether all the FUD being generated by those with vested interests is justified by a successful attack on an Intel-based Mac. The same people have been squawking for years about OS X on Power PC. Granted there have been some vulnerabilities reported, but none have been exploited successfully "in the wild".
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Old Jan 27, 2006, 11:47 PM   #4
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sure hope this don't happen. intel and apple better keep things tight. but.. if something major happens this could be a huge part for amd to step in and secure things on an amd chip lets hope we dont have to downgrade to ppc later on.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 03:31 AM   #5
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http://www.frsirt.com/english/vendor/229

Wow, a whole list of sploits/vulns for X, and this is one of the smaller ones around. The move to Intel wont suddenly make the OS easier to sploit
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 09:12 AM   #6
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yawn ... more FUD.

Macs might be more vulnerable if it gains marketshare, but not because it uses the same chip architecture as windows-based PCs. By that logic, Linux should have as many viruses as Windows, right?
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 01:38 PM   #7
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Why does the article keep referring to Motorola's PowerPC? Motorola has been out of that game for a while... and PowerPC was mainly IBM's domain anyways. Motorola (and Apple) moved to the architecture, but it was founded by IBM.

It is sad when people write articles like these. The move in and of itself to Intel is not going to make any difference. To date I have never seen a wide spread security issue that had anything to do with a hardware platform, it was always the operating system that represented the foundation of any exploits.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 01:39 PM   #8
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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I can't figure it out... what the hell is FUD?
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I can't figure it out... what the hell is FUD?
it means Fear Uncertainty & Doubt.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I can't figure it out... what the hell is FUD?
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

It's just an expression...if someone spreads FUD, then they try to use gloom and doom scenarios with little likelihood of actually obtaining, to make people who are relatively ignorant people form highly emotionally charged pictures of the danger of something (in this case, Apple's future).
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 01:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by redAPPLE
it means Fear Uncertainty & Doubt.
I see, well in that case, I agree with everyone who described this article as such.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 02:53 PM   #12
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This article was definitely clueless and misinformed. The idea of security problems on x86 and not PPC does have some basis in reality...a basis that wasn't even touched on in the article, however. Namely, it has something to do with memory being marked as executable or not, which x86 didn't differentiate. So you could have a pointer at any old spot in memory and execute whatever was there, whereas that was never possible on PPC. However, my understanding is that's not even true on x86 any more.

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Old Jan 28, 2006, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric5h5
This article was definitely clueless and misinformed. The idea of security problems on x86 and not PPC does have some basis in reality...a basis that wasn't even touched on in the article, however. Namely, it has something to do with memory being marked as executable or not, which x86 didn't differentiate. So you could have a pointer at any old spot in memory and execute whatever was there, whereas that was never possible on PPC. However, my understanding is that's not even true on x86 any more.

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there is the nx-bit on amd64 processors and functionally equivalent xd-bit on some newer intel x86 processors.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 07:42 PM   #14
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Why change to Intel anyway? - their awful, AMD make much better cpu's but then again PowerPC are the way forward
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 03:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasimyaqoob
Why change to Intel anyway? - their awful, AMD make much better cpu's but then again PowerPC are the way forward
AMD still can't compete in the field Apple's currently most interested in—mobile chips. Like it or not, Core Duo is way better than anything AMD has out in the same power-consumption range. And when Intel's whole lineup finally ditches NetBurst and brings in the Merom/Conroe architecture... well, things will likely be neck and neck again. Besides, AMD doesn't have the volume capacity to deliver in the big-time.

PowerPC is dead, sorry. Apple was the last big PPC customer in non-embedded systems. In the consumer market, PPC is gone. Get over it.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 04:49 AM   #16
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Wow... I read all three pages of that article looking for information. Never found any. Symantec thinks Mac users should start buying their product, and IBM thinks x86 is less secure than their PPC-- no news there. Everybody's still hung up on popularity as the reason Macs aren't exploited and all of these arguments hinge on x86 being popular.

There are differences between the architectures but, aside from the weak CISC vs RISC argument, there was nothing in this article that explains why x86 is fundamentally more vulnerable.

Mostly it just makes me shrug and wonder why the technical press can't hire technical journalists...
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 09:44 AM   #17
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This just in: Apple's Switch to Intel Could Allow for the End of the World
... well, it could. That would make just as insightful an article.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 01:31 PM   #18
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the article is just a tad short on details and a bit too general. ppc and x86 also use silicon. that should be a good reason why they'll be exploitable.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 02:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Kid
There are differences between the architectures but, aside from the weak CISC vs RISC argument, there was nothing in this article that explains why x86 is fundamentally more vulnerable.
I thought that was kinda funny, because the way I understand it, RISC and CISC are differentiations more from the 1990s--that both the POWER and x86 architectures have evolved since then so that neither of them is really RISC or CISC. and in ANY case, I've never heard of a multi-platform virus written for x86 in assembly.

What an idiotic article. FUD indeed.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 02:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfax
I thought that was kinda funny, because the way I understand it, RISC and CISC are differentiations more from the 1990s--that both the POWER and x86 architectures have evolved since then so that neither of them is really RISC or CISC. and in ANY case, I've never heard of a multi-platform virus written for x86 in assembly.

What an idiotic article. FUD indeed.
i'm still puzzled as to why people still cling to the terms "cisc" and "risc" when modern processors aren't even close to either one of them.
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 02:58 PM   #21
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i doubt the author had any idea about what he was talking about, nor did the people he interviewed (or perhaps he only took the words of those he agreed with? )
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