CTO thinking of switching to Mac due to Microsoft security ineptitude

“Computer security experts said on Thursday the recent “SQL Slammer” worm, the worst in more than a year, is evidence that Microsoft’s year-old security push is not working.

‘Trustworthy Computing is failing,’ Russ Cooper of TruSecure said of the Microsoft initiative. ‘I gave it a ‘D-minus’ at the beginning of the year, and now I’d give it an ‘F’.’

‘Microsoft was completely hosed (from Slammer). It took them two days to get out from under it,’ said Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer of Counterpane Internet Security, a network monitoring service provider. ‘It’s as hypocritical as you can get.’

‘We should have done a better job’ in protecting the company’s own network, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s security business unit, said on Wednesday. ‘We understood some things customers were facing and it, in some ways, helped us. It was a learning course.’

In the meantime, Schneier said he was thinking of switching from Windows to the Macintosh platform because of all the security issues. ‘My wife has a Mac and she doesn’t worry about viruses, trojans, leaks…,’ he said.

A Consumer Reports survey last year found that virus infection rates on Macs are half what they are on Windows, noted Smith. ‘Is that because Macs are safer? I think the answer is yeah,” reports Reuters. Full article here.


  1. What isn’t said is whether or not they were counting Office Macro viruses as viruses, because I understand those hit Mac users far FAR more often than server worms or OS viruses.

  2. John, I really can’t remember an MS Office macro virus for the mac. “far FAR more often” than other viruses would still be a fraction of a percent, though, so I guess you may be right.

  3. I’ve been using a Mac since 1985. I believe I got an infection around 1992 on my IIci – it was some Word virus – Norton cleaned it up – I don’t recall losing any files or any downtime, just the 30 minutes for Norton to do its job.

    I have also been working in offices with mostly macs since 1992 and of a couple thousand machines, there have one or two that ever even got a virus warning – usually MS macro viruses that just resided on the mac and was flagged but never penetrated anything.

    I guess being a Mac IT virus guy is a lonely business.

  4. I am using Macs since 1988 and i had only one virus infection during this time that did not do any harm to my files or directory. I use an anti-virus software as many virus can be transmitted to Windows users while being harmless for a Mac. Once you get rid of any MS application on your hard disk (Office or Explorer), you will find your computer having less problems and running faster without unnecessary MS abstruse extentions and memory ogers applications.

  5. Over the years the virus software on my Mac has flagged many a virus in email attachments but they have always been Windows viruses. Macs have had their share of Office macro viruses and several years ago it was quite common to find infected machines all over campus. But in recent years the University has spent huge sums of money on firewalls and antivirus measures to combat Windows viruses and in the process they have eradicated all the Mac macro viruses. I haven’t seen one in several years. That said, the unix core of OS X is not perfect (no OS is) and eventually somebody is going to cause some trouble.

  6. WinPC users.

    It’s called ‘The Registry’.

    EVERY M$ ‘OS’ has had one.

    Check into it.

    The Script Kiddies have.

    NO other OS has ever had one.


    PLEase, please, Pleeze pull your heads out of the sand – or whereever you’ve got it stuffed – and actually SEE why your beloved ‘OS’ is the SwissCheese of OSes.

    It started out as a dubious CLONE of CP/M – a good OS.

    BG3 built an empire on slealing computer time at college to copy public domain BASIC and sell it for hundreds, then BUYS a clone OS – of an actually good product.

    Look it up.

    BG3 may have honestly believed that it would be beneficial for all to own a ‘computer’, but his means have NOT justified HIS ends.

  7. Wierd results to say the least. Since I used my first Mac, I’ve had exactly one infection. I’m only aware of perhaps 2, maybe 3 new viruses in the Mac world over the past 5 years, and both of those took advantage the the auto-start setting in Quicktime (I’m a power-user and Mac User Group leader).

    It took Microsoft to create the first cross-platform virus, the Macro virus. Nearly all of the updates for Mac virus programs (like 99.999%) are for Macro viruses. So if you do not have Microsoft Office installed, you have almost nothing to worry about.

    For many years the most popular virus program on the Mac was freeware, try that on a PC.

  8. Why would someone write a virus anyway? Aren’t these smart people wityh issues trying to make a point? No offense to the hackers, but there are some really smart people who really HATE MS for some really real reasons. Is someone out there trying to do what the Federales can’t?

  9. BS — Macs have so few viruses to contend with as to be nearly non-existent — last virus infection that swept through our 2700+ Macs was, oh . . . . hmmmmm, uhhhh, well, let me think about it a moment — 1992?

    Beyond that, the MS macro virus only caused minor headaches with opening and saving MS WORD files — the operation of the Mac with any other application was unaffected — the MS macro virus did not affect the overall operation of the Mac.

    We had only a handful (7-8) Macs that became infected with the MS macro virus — was easy to get rid of, and was able to restore infected Word files.

  10. Apple should use the low infection rates of Macs aggressively in the Switch campaign.

    Windows users are in _real_hell_ with viruses. I have been cleaning my colleague’s PC from viruses _EVERY_ 2 weeks now (and they have all come just by using email!!), and in 3 months, MS Win has been installed like 5 times! And he had all those anti-virus programs installed, but none really helped. Let them stay in hell and suffer (when they don’t know better), not only by being abused with Windows, but also by using Windows viruses!

    P.S. He has lost all his emails and contacts [addresses] (even some really important ones) with the last istallation. Poor Windows users.

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