The New York Times’ David Pogue has recanted his recent propagation of the “security through obscurity” myth, writing today, “That, as it turns out, is a myth, no matter who repeats it… Mac OS X and Linux [are] much more secure than Windows XP. For example:”

– “Windows comes with five of its ports open; Mac OS X comes with all of them shut and locked… These ports are precisely what permitted viruses like Blaster to infiltrate millions of PCs. Microsoft says that it won’t have an opportunity to close these ports until the next version of Windows, which is a couple of years away.”

– “When a program tries to install itself in Mac OS X… a dialog box interrupts your work and asks you permission for that installation — in fact, requires your account password. Windows XP goes ahead and installs it, potentially without your awareness.”

– “Administrator accounts in Windows (and therefore viruses that exploit it) have access to all areas of the operating system. In Mac OS X, even an administrator can’t touch the files that drive the operating system itself. A Mac OS X virus (if there were such a thing) could theoretically wipe out all of your files, but wouldn’t be able to access anyone else’s stuff — and couldn’t touch the operating system itself.”

– “No Macintosh e-mail program automatically runs scripts that come attached to incoming messages, as Microsoft Outlook does.”

Pogue writes, “…the conclusion is clear: Linux and Mac OS X aren’t just more secure because fewer people use them. They’re also much harder to crack right out of the box.” Pogue also covers Windows virus programs and other reasons why Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Full article here.