Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please Don't Believe the Illusion

From TechWatch:

CNET News did an extensive interview with Marc Maiffret, an ex-hacker who is now the co-founder of security firm eEye Digital Security.  The Q&A session was insightful, and covered the state of security in general, as well as how various tech companies are handling this thorny issue. It is a worthwhile piece for those interested in the topic of security.
What caught my attention was when Maiffret was asked whether Apple is taking security seriously now; he replied that "If they were taking it seriously, they [Apple] wouldn't claim to be more secure than Microsoft because they are very much not." Indeed, this was my opinion too when I wrote "Pwn2Own 2010: The Mac isn't more secure" last month, which saw some readers respond  strongly in the comments section.
My point then, was that there are fewer security incidents on the Mac platform (and Apple products in general) due to less marketshare overall, a fact that Maiffret concurs with when he said, "The reason we don't see more attacks out there compared to Microsoft is because their market share isn't near what Microsoft's is."

This is one of the things I'm talking about.   It is scary to see how many people actually believe that Apple's OS is more secure than any other.   I don't know how many security experts have to say (and prove) otherwise for them to get it.


  1. In my 10 years of using OS X, I've never used antivirus software. To date I've never lost data or had to reinstall an OS due to malware. But I know that no computer can ever be made entirely impervious to attack.

    I therefore hope that applehaters' attempt to dissuade people from buying Macs succeeds. Viva low market share!

    I like that Apple currently sells enough Macs to keep making and improving them, but not so many as to attract malware.

  2. Well put dude. I think hes just showing people that apple isnt perfect. Its weird how many people actually believe that crap.

  3. Definitely, PWN2OWN is a hacker contest where Mac is always the first to fall. Security by obscurity is not the equivalent to a good security package. I wouldn't own a Mac without locking it down first.

  4. And the winner of PWN2OWN, given the choice, always chooses a nice new Mac as their reward.

    But the the black hats who spread malware in the wild go after the platform with the greatest numbers, which is, and shall remain Windows for the foreseeable future.

  5. So, basically, Mac is the little kid in gymclass that hides behind the fat kid (Windows) during dodgeball hoping he won't get noticed. Sounds like apple needs to toughen up.

  6. @TheGreek2007

    Your analogy is somewhat valid, but your conclusion is not. Some games are won by clever strategy rather than macho force. If the goal is to maximize profits, I'd say Apple is doing quite well compared with other computer companies.

    As far as toughening up, Apple regularly issues security updates. So far there have been no disastrous outbreaks of malware as have happened to Windows repeatedly over the years.

  7. "And the winner of PWN2OWN, given the choice, always chooses a nice new Mac as their reward."

    Of course, typically has the higher resale value after they have their fun exploiting it some more. Then they can go use that cash on better hardware.

  8. You got that right brother! You could probably buy 2 kick-ass laptops for the price of 1 CrapBook.