Reduce OS X security threats - ignore security software

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, May 5, 2006.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003


    Category: Opinion/Interviews
    Link: Reduce OS X security threats - ignore security software
    Description:: It may be true, as McAfee says, that from 2003 to 2005 the number of discovered Mac vulnerabilities increased by 228 percent while Windows only saw a 73 percent increase. But that's like saying that in the last decade, deaths caused by choking on ice cream were up by 200 percent while deaths from smoking only went up by ten.

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  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
  3. DMann macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002

    The micro kernel and unix-permissions make it really hard for
    viruses to thrive.
  4. daneosaur macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2006
    Surrey, BC Canada
    I can't believe that they would make up total b.s. about intel macs being more vulnerable. How is it even slightly possible that processor architecture has any difference in this situation!?
  5. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    A lot. x86/x64 only recently got a security technology that the 68k had! (the ability to determine whether something in RAM is data or code). The arch matters a lot, especially when moving to something that's been lagging securitywise for a long time
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's interesting to me that the Australian authors for ZDNet publish what seem to be anti-Mac security articles and the UK authors seem a bit more even in their sentiment.

    Either way, there are exploits and we must be careful but buying software to combat something that almost doesn't exist or doesn't actually exist makes no sense.

    Where was McAfee when there were customers who wanted to upgrade from Virex version 6 to Virex version 7? They didn't want to sell anything. Now, they go to the opposite end by trying to scare people into buying from them.
  7. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
  8. auyongtc macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Yeah, they'll go bankrupt before they even get near 10% of ROI :p
  9. Lollypop macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2004
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    I think this is actually a nice little acticle, but very old news. So the mac is 100% perfect security wise, we all know that, all we need is for apple to get of their butts and fix the errors and make the mac comunity aware of how to decently secure OS X.
  10. LxMx macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2006
    I really don't see how the micro kernel would help anything. If anything, OS X is the least secure of all the *nix OSes. Ahead of Windows, no doubt, but you have to remember that OS X main weaknesses are in all the things that Apple adds on top of the kernel. The Safari "Image of doom"? A WebKit vulnerability which, even months after being revealed, still hasnt been completely fixed.

    Microsoft learnt about security the hard way when it made choices that neglected security. It seems that Apple may be falling into that trap too. I have faith though...
  11. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Good article. Nice to see someone finally point out the trash.
  12. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2005
    Los Angeles
    It is NOT old news. This is a rebuttal to a very recent claim by McAfee about OS X security. Look at the article's date - May 5th.

    This is one of the best articles I've read on Macbytes recently. It's very intelligently put.
  13. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    McAfee just wants your money.... maybe they'll "hire" a virus designer to custom make the first osx virus... so they can conveniently provide the solution... or maybe I'm just too much of a conspiracy theorist;)
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I enjoyed it too... what I'd like to actually see (and about which I'm not completely convinced either way) is if there is any evidence at all that, even on Windows, the solutions that the anti-virus majors peddle have ever been demonstrated to be effective in primary prevention -- that is, actually stop new viruses before they become a problem. I have this suspicion that they're only really good at selling band-aids.... But I'm not totally sold on that idea.

    EDIT: I'm actually rather surprised that what galstaph mentioned hasn't happened yet. At least in some legal or quasi-legal variant. I mean, if Sony got into the business of writing and distributing malware.... :rolleyes:
  15. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Great article.

    "In fact, if you look down the CERT list of alerts for 2005, the only one that mentions an Apple product by name is one caused by a bug in Symantec's AntiVirus software for the Mac."


    Maybe, but if I were a Windows user and got a "cut" despite my other precautions, I'd still find value in a band-aid. Prevention is best, but containment and damage control are also useful.

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