InfoWorld lead analyst: confirmed Microsoft apologist

Jon Udell, the lead analyst of the InfoWorld Test Center no less, writes the following, “With the Sobig.F worm on the wane and its successor presumed to be waiting in the wings, fingers are pointing angrily at Redmond.”

“‘People sometimes ask me why I loathe and detest Microsoft with such a visceral passion,’ wrote packet-radio pioneer and security expert Phil Karn on his Web site. ‘A major reason is the never-ending stream of viruses and worms infesting [Microsoft’s] abysmally insecure software,'” Udell reports.

“For users of Linux and Mac OS X, the recent outbreak was a bittersweet validation. These systems were immune to the worm but — because we are all e-mail users — not to its effects,” writes Udell. “Open source software partisans never seem to follow their argument to its logical conclusion, however. If more people used Linux and/or Mac OS X, more attackers would exploit the vulnerabilities of these systems… The mess we’re in is largely Microsoft’s fault, to be sure, but any dominant software player would have created a similar mess. Ideology, of any flavor, won’t help. We need rational ways to quantify risk and to value its mitigation.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re getting tired of this yellow journalism trying to cover for Microsoft. But, we’ll never stop pointing this stuff out on these pages. Mac OS X is not more secure than Windows because less people use OS X, making it less of a target. Mac OS X is more secure than Windows. Period. This writer is the “lead analyst” for InfoWorld? Perhaps we read it wrong; “lead” not “lead” as in “leader.” He must be charged with studying Pb, Atomic Number 82, and is just filling in for the Tech writer this week. Still, he should be capable of reading the information contained on this website: http://www.ciac.org/ciac/bulletinsByType/bul_vendor_list.html

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
CCIA wants U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to reconsider buying ‘insecure Microsoft software’ – August 29, 2003

14 Comments

  1. If anybody asks the question, “Why, if Microsoft is so poor in all areas, are 95% of the world using Windows?” you need to look no further than sheep like Jon Udell, and the poor excuse for journalism that he and others churn out.

  2. yes, and I see more and more of these articles saying “Well if MacOS X was really popular, there would be viruses out there for it too.”
    I just worry with this common thread in so many stories that some script kiddie is going to try to write a Mac virus (which can certainly be done).

    At least Apple has frequent security updates. But imagine if one of those holes got exploited, plenty of people haven’t updated.

    Thank goodness Apple turns off most services by defualt unlike someone (cough cough)

  3. Several big name security gurus like Avi Ruben have switched to OS X. These guys are under constant attack by the script kiddies who want a notch in their belt.

    Security conferences are filled with PowerBooks these days. The only Intel laptops are running OpenBSD.

    there are several types of security – all are important

    OS security – Windows doesn’t do well here

    viable target – Windows is *the* popular target

    monoculture effects – a monoculture or near monoculture is inherently dangerous everything else being equal

    user education – can be good or bad anywhere … BSD types are probably the most clueful as a group

    administrative cluefulness – varies widely

    ___

    Moving away from Windows doesn’t solve all of your problems, but it nails three of the big ones.

  4. Jon Udell, Lead (Pb, the metal) Analyst: now it all makes sense!

    Hey, Jon, U Dell and we’ll Mac, then we’ll see who gets done first and with smiles on our faces.

  5. Microsoft is never wrong. Users are stupid. Microsoft is great. Apple are beleguered. Microsoft is always right. Apple has miniscule share. Bill Gates is god. Linux is difficult. Microsoft is innovative. Linux is for geeks. Microsoft is important. Linux is not ready for desktop. I wanna be like Bill Gates. Apple users are zealots. Bill Gates is a visionary. Apple copied Quartz from the soon-to-be-released Longhorn. Windows is as secure as Fort Knox.

    So, InfoWorld Test Center, can I be a lead analyst now? I have more brilliant analyses similar to above. $100K a year for them is a bargain, no?

  6. Ya know, possibly it is a bit more difficult to write a virus for the Mac, but I don’t think you’d have to be a genius to write an AppleScript that could do major harm, send it to people in e-mail labeled “Britnay Naked!” or something, and watch the damage.

    When it asked for a password, most people would probably readily give it access to EVERYTHING!

  7. ^ Wrong

    I’m willing to bet the vast majority of Mac users would instantly be red-flagged by something asking them to input their admin password when they’ve not intentionally tried to install or change the settings to something.

    They realize naked pics of Britney would require no password to unlock anything and thus instantly recognize something was up and trash the offending attachment.

  8. And in any case, to truly do the kind of damage a virus or a worm does on Windows platform the Applescript should ask for the root password.

    Now, if any Mac OS X user out there truly puts in a root password without thinking 5 times and waiting a day or two send us your addfress so that we can stone you to death .

    Now, Windows users like that I could find by the thousands…

  9. He says that avoiding Windows is illogical… but… if you had, it really WOULD have protected your data! It’s only illogical if the MAJORITY simultaneously switched to something else. People who make his argument must believe that’s an imminent possibility! If they don’t, then smaller marketshare IS a useful protection, and a reason to switch to a minority platform.

    These people have no logic.

    And that’s BEFORE you add in the fact that being the minority is NOT the source of Mac security, and that UNIX is NOT the minority in all fields–certainly not in high-profile “targets.”

  10. Hey all, remember how rageous got his ass whooped the last time he try to talk about Mac security? He’s the one that compared the Mac to houses in the country or something.

  11. Ted, you have no idea what you’re talking about, and picking a fight online is about as childish as one can get.

    My comments said nothing negative of Mac security. Go back and review them before posting again please.

  12. In terms of targets, the largest of corporations do NOT use Windows but UNIX as the primary heartbeat of their core computer systems, such as major financial institutions, utilities, and colleges. UNIX is a huge target for real hackers (other than the lame college freshman variety).

    Hacking into Windows brings you headlines on CNN because it may affect millions. What is better for some high school kid to put his girlfriend (du jour) name within his virus, so her name is mentioned by Peter Jennings on ABC News? But, a true genius hacker goes for the gold; UNIX; crashing a “bulletproof” company.

    UNIX, being open source for many many years, has endured many more years of invasion than WIndows and by much more intelligent people. But the bottom line is that the current versions of UNIX are extraordinarily bullet-proof. Then add Apple’s GUI-level of security (closing all UNIX access ports) and you’re only remaining hole is to convince your user to let you in. Most burglars don’t have much success by knocking on the front door. Granted, you may get into one or two, but there is no way to get a virus to spread with any effectiveness with this method before it is quickly shut down.

    Windows DOES suffer as a target from being popular, but it is also an easy target. If the 95% of the world were using UNIX as an OS, there would be just as many ATTEMPTS, but much fewer successes.

  13. Pretty much so Ary:

    Windows user cherish the visibility issue because it obscures the real problem (paradoxes of real life ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> ): Windows has no security.

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