Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X

Macintosh security is built in, not added as an afterthought. The design of Mac’s OS X made security a top priority and achieved it in many different ways. Larry Loeb gives you an update on some of the ways security has been implemented for Inform IT.

“There are ways that OS X improves on UNIX’s standard security methods,” Larry Loeb writes for InformIT. Loeb explains how in his full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004

21 Comments

  1. Great article. The sad part is that windows user now belive that due to Service Pack 2, that Windows is now more secure than other OS’s.

    They believe that now because Windows has a security centre that warns people of threats and turns a firewall on, they are more secure.

    What they fail to realise is that there are two stages of security.
    1. How a system prevents compromise.
    2. How a system responds once compromised. (That is what measures does a system take to prevent hackers doing damage)

    Windows only adresses the first level, even though windows now prevents things such as buffer overflow and other internal weaknesses. The fact that windows allows access to *everything* is always going to be a weakness and insecurity.

    Whereas OS X, Unix and Linux restrict there system with the root user. This is by design more secure.

    Larry has hit the nail on the head.

  2. �It has long been a principle of truly secure systems that they should not contain secrets because once the secrets are discovered by an adversary, the entire system will be compromised. Any truly secure method should function to keep security, even if the method is publicly known. Hence the reliance on open source, which can be inspected by anyone. If there is a vulnerability, it can be found and corrected by the review process that occurs within the community.�

    Please, provide some examples, other than Apple, where this type of security has shown benefit.

    And, yes, please describe how Microsoft�s method of security makes its OS more vulnerable, and provide some examples, other than MS, where this type of security has been problematical.

  3. mac zealot..

    Im not sure if they still do it anymore or not, but there was this orginization, who, once a year, or so.. would place a Mac Server online,for a period of time .. publish its DNS, telnet, and other pertinent info online… The idea was a contest, of sorts…

    If anyone could hack into the machine… and prove they did it, then {the hacker} would win the Server..

    The last time, as I recall, they did this… the Mac Server had been running some flavor of Linux..
    And, I dont remember ever reading someone actually winning the Server…

    This would be a great discussion of computer security, for you, should someone more enlightened on the details than I, post here..

    Hopefully, if this “contest” still goes on, someone would also mention it here, too..

  4. SP2 has solved all MS ills. Anyone who says otherwise does not know XP Professional from their ass. PROFESSIONAL – what you macfags will never be because you are spoiled, tree-hugging, pay-too-much, SPJ ass smelling, throat sausage loving, butt munchers.

  5. Security question:
    Microsoft Office components in Office X open two ports to send data back and forth in an attempt to see if you are using MS Office with one license on more than one machine concurrently.

    When any MS Office X component launches it opens these ports, broadcasts its existence and listens for a response. When all MS Office X components are closed the ports are still left open. Typically you have to manually close these ports, execute a script to close these ports for you, or restart.

    Is this true of the new MS Office 2004? I have not checked it since I have not “upgraded” (if you can call it that) to MS Office 2004.

    I would hope that the MS Business Unit would be more security aware than the rest of MS. But woefully this is often not true.

    So what’s the case? Does MS Office 2004 open extra ports? Does it leave them open even after all MS Office 2004 compontents are closed?

  6. “…..SP2 has solved all MS ills. Anyone who says otherwise does not know XP Professional from their ass. PROFESSIONAL….”

    Is it just me …. or do others find the notion of referring to Micro$oft and PROFESSIONAL … in the same sentence .. just a tad hilarious ??

    Almost as funny as saying Micro$oft and SECURITY in the same sentence…

    stalin …. these are called “oxymorons” …. you know… like .. jumbo shrimp… military intellegence… and Micro$oft Works !!

    LOL …

    Check out a new Mac … and be amazed

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