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Securitysplainin'

The Macalope | April 9, 2014
Isn't it nice that so many people who are ostensibly not Mac users are still very concerned about Mac security? It's sweet the way they look out for us.

Yes, malware does exist on the Mac — the point is that not as much of it exists. That's a fact. As a matter of fact, it's a fact that's pointed out at the top of the piece Wlodarz links to:

Before we begin, let's make one thing really clear.

The malware problem on Mac OS X is nothing like as bad as it is on Windows.

Wlodarz doesn't seem to know the actual definition of "security through obscurity"; he's apparently conflated it with "security through minority."

While the rest of the 2000s flew by with Apple picking up considerable batches of Windows converts, by 2010 the tide was starting to shift. Well known voices in the tech industry were starting to speak against the tide, like Alex Stamos and Mac security specialist Charlie Miller.

They asserted claims that took different means to an end, but concluded on relatively the same thing: Windows (Vista, 7) was finally a more secure platform than OS X.

It was. At the time, anyway. Since then, Apple has more fully implemented security enhancements such as ASLR and its own malware detection and removal. Now you find even the hackers of OS X claiming its security "is higher than other operating systems."

While the infection risk on Macs isn't nearly as prevalent as on Windows machines, the falsehood that Macs have always been malware free is anything but true.

Which would be troublesome if anyone had actually said that. Instead what Apple's advertising said was that Macs don't have the same level of problem with malware as Windows computers do.

... Microsoft isn't hiding behind any security veils. Its transparency on security topics affecting its products should be lauded.

It should. Microsoft has a much better working relationship with the security community than Apple does. But, while Apple's relationship and attitude toward security still needs work, it has been improving.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and founder of well-known security firm Kaspersky, said back in 2012 that Apple is roughly 10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security.

Kaspersky, maker of the Flashback removal tool that sent your user settings back to the stone age, is a perfect example of how putting your faith in anti-malware is a bust. And still Kaspersky laments how terrible it is that Apple won't allow his company's software on iOS.

Boo. Hoo.

Matt [Baxter-Reynolds of ZDNet] said it point blank: "The fact that this [goto fail SSL] code made it into production at all is a shocking indictment of Apple's engineering team".

It is. It is, however, hysterical that a similar bug sat in the "security through openness"-protected Linux for maybe ten years.

 

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