“Security is very important to Apple. It’s one of the key perceived differences between OS X and Windows, which is constantly battling viruses, worms and spyware,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired. “So this week Apple executives worked overtime talking to the press. The message is that Apple takes security very, very seriously, and the company has learned an important lesson in communicating about security issues with its customers.”
“Ken Bereskin, Apple’s director of Mac OS X product marketing, said that Apple was stung by recent criticism that the company didn’t communicate in detail about security updates. He admitted descriptions of patches downloaded automatically in OS X’s Software Update mechanism tended to be simplistic,” Kahney reports. “Bereskin added, ‘In general, we feel we’ve been approaching security in a really smart way. Nothing can be perfect. I think everybody acknowledges that, but we’re trying to make it as safe and trustworthy for our customers as possible.'”
“According to Bereskin, Apple has issued 44 security updates since Mac OS X was introduced in March 2001, and 3 percent of those were classified critical — a vulnerability that can be exploited remotely. The Help Viewer and Disk vulnerabilities are examples. By comparison, Microsoft issued 78 security updates in the same period, and 65 percent were critical, Bereskin noted,” Kahney reports. “‘Certainly no single operating system can be completely secure from all threats, but most people we talk to, most of the security experts we work with closely, agree that because Mac OS X has a Unix BSD core, it lands up being more secure than other platforms, certainly more than Microsoft,’ Bereskin said.
“Ngozi Pole is systems administrator for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), whose office runs the only Mac operation on Capitol Hill. Pole administers about 60 Macs and a couple of PCs. ‘(The Senate) got hit pretty hard by a worm recently,’ he said. ‘When that happened they had to shut a lot of computers down to isolate the problem. Kennedy’s office was functioning normally during that time.