Furious gates....

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by abhishekit, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    quoted from an article from Cnet new.com..in connection with MyDoom virus.
    "To say a system is secure because no one is attacking it is very dangerous," said Gates, referring to operating systems that have a smaller share of the desktop market, such as Apple Computer's Macintosh OS and the open-source software Linux.
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    IMO, he is (at least partially) right :eek:
    I do think that both Linux and OS X are more secure, but they don't have thousands of arse holes trying to break/exploit them 24/7/365.
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Well, its a little more than that - its easy to hate M$ - they get a bad name from what they've done to the industry, so they're a target. Apple and Linux boxes are much more benign in that regard.

  4. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2002
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    Supposing Macintosh is more secure than Windows, what should Apple do? They could exploit it, mention it all the times in advertising, and try and get nervous PC users to switch for security. But, if they draw too much attention to it, more people will start trying to find flaws and write viruses for it. Could it possibly backfire? Or, they could keep quiet, try and not give any ideas to people who currently focus on giving PC users hell, and maybe maintain the security that they have. But, would they be missing a huge marketing opportunity?
  5. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    he is partially right, as others have mentioned. what i don't like about M$ is the fact they often try to excuse themselves by comparing to linux/Mac. with becoming the industry "standard" - which is what they wanted - comes the responsibility to supply the best quality stuff.

    i am not at all interested in M$ talking about how they compare to others, how they are in a unique situation because they are targeted, etc. blah blah... they make it sound like it's not their own doing that they are where they are. if they can't make the best stuff that can withstand the scrutiny of being targeted, then it's time for them to move aside and let the better stuff take over.

    by the way, apache is more secure than iis. and apache is more popular. :confused: :D
  6. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    Am I correct in assuming that these so called viruses are only exploiting "design features" within M$ outlook?

    if so what is the potential for someone exploiting say Applescript or other similar features within Darwin and OS X?
  7. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i think, for the most part, the difference between windows and other OS comes down to two things:

    1) windows let the users run/install apps with much more powerful priviledges (almost root-level) than others. this is quite different from OS X where admin is not even root-level and root is disabled by default.

    2) windows and their apps have been particularly vulnerable to remote access - and coupled with #1, once hacked into, hacker had almost root-like access.

    in theory, applescript virus could be made, but because of much more limited priviledges of ordinary users, it cannot wipe the HD clean or affect the fundamentals of the OS system for example...
  8. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    To wipe an OSX HD clean, one only needs a "sudo rm -r /" or something along those lines. And somehow fool the user by asking for his/her password.
  9. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    sure, of course. i was not saying it's impossible.

    however, being asked for a system password is nowhere near as easy as opening an email attachment.
  10. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    didn't Bill Gates offer a $300,000 reward for any information relating to the Mydoom thingy?

    anyways... just on the topic of Mydoom - i keep getting heaps of junk emails... have a look at this pic. is this a result of Mydoom?

    Attached Files:

  11. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I think so. I've been getting quite a lot of those recently.
  12. RandomDeadHead macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2003
    Yep thats probably it. Our computers at the office are swamped with junk that says the exact same thing.
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes, that's definitely from everybody's current favorite virus.

    Two thoughts on ol' Billy:

    1) Gates is an idiot for comments like that, correct or not in the reason for Mac and Linux users being less of a target. Last I checked, Microsoft was shipping hundreds of millions of copies of Windows all over the world. According to their own 10-K, their client OS division generated about 10.2 BILLION dollars in revenue, which ends up earning MS and its shareholders 6.15 billion in after tax profit. How much does the OS division spend earning that money? 2 billion dollars.

    Meaning that for every dollar MS spends making its OS "better" and harder to compromise with viruses and hacks, they make $3 of profit (a lot of which goes to things like the billion dollars the Xbox division lost last year). Meaning they're spending exactly one quarter of the amount they could be protecting the OS that runs 90% of the worlds information computers.

    Yeah, Bill, the problem is obviously that you're such a big target. Couldn't have anything to do with not caring about securing your OS, could it?

    2) It's not just a matter of the size of the target making people less likely to try to write Mac viruses; since the OS runs on different hardware, and for the most part people use a different set of applications, it takes more than just a little bit of effort to learn to write a Mac virus. That hacker not only has to familiarize himself with the Mac enough to be able to write some annoying software, but he also has to get his hands on a Mac to do the work.

    Far from impossible, but most virus writers just aren't going to bother to sit around in a school lab or buy themselves a Mac just to write a virus for it, when the target is small enough it probably wouldn't even spread very well. Why go to all that trouble when even a half decent Windows virus is going to spread ten times as well?

    It's going to take more than just talking big to make something happen--I'd bet we're going to have to get into double-digit market share to get any real virus action going, and even then only if corporate users jump on the bandwagon, since their use of Outlook is what really gets the evil flowin'.

    Aah, feels good to rant. MS is such an easy target, too.
  14. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    No, that was SCO. $250,000 was the amount.

  15. Pseudonym macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2004
    Old Blighty
    Got to agree with ol' Bill here (and edesign too - first time I've lumped those two together!). I get nervous when too many mac users crow about not getting viruses. I do it alot to my friends which is one thing, but it just becomes a challenge when it is done publically on the net.

    Sure, you it is far harder to do much damage under OS X, but you can cause real inconvenience. When Apple start advertising as virus free, then you can be sure viruses are on the way!

    The problem with Windows is that it is far easier to do more damage with the virus. And that, I'm afraid, is down to our old friend Windows.
  16. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    MyDoom is not an Outlook virus. Any email program that opens the attached virus files will infect the computer, since they are simple executables.

    The potential is there for a script to do this in OS X if the OS is insecure enough to allow it.
  17. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    Correction to my former post. Looks like both SCO and M$ are offering $250k rewards. SCO announced the reward two or three days ago, and M$ announced within the last 24 hours (approx). I guess we were all right about that one.


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