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


  1. Wyodor: pretty normal. Practically all MS applications phone home. You will have to instruct the firewall to block outgoing connections on all ports. You may attempt to block those ports entirely but often MS tries to open nearby ones.
    It turns any computer in a gruyere full of holes (security wise)

    With ports blocked MS applications complain but work the same.

    I do entirely without MS and keep ports monitored. No one in no one out without me knowing and explicitly allowing transmission.

  2. Smithy: Norton Personal Firewall shows that any Office application tries to open connection at launch time and at Quit time. Consistently.

    Do you have full log and warnings on from Little Snitch on incoming and outgoing connections (both allowed and denied)?

  3. Seahawk,

    Weird, Little Snitch is a deamon that launches upon login and if any app tries to connect it will pop up with an alert. There is no log, but a list of rules in the preference pane that are created (say, for instance ‘Always block Word from Port 80).

    Do you trust NPF? I bought it but uninstalled it cause it kept leaving ports open… I just use the OS X built in firewall.

  4. I personally use IPFW – or the built-in but have colleagues with Norton PFW. Seems to be working and ports are closed. During the peak of MSBlaster we simply configured the relative port as closed and it warned about some 5 denied attempts per day.

    From what I could see NPF does not leave ports open. You may set rules to leave ALL doors closed in/out and then allow in and/or out connection to specified ports. Have not seen allowed activities on ports which were deemed to be closed.

  5. Smithy: maybe since you have the builtin on as well Little Snitch does not see any activity in that already blocked by OS X firewall. This last does not warn of denied access.

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