Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes

“For the first half of the year, anti-virus research company Symantec reported 1237 new online security vulnerabilities – an average of 48 a week. Nearly all those vulnerabilities, about 97 per cent, were considered moderate or highly severe, and 70 per cent were considered easy to exploit,” Paul Brislen reports for The New Zealand Herald. “There is a growing online threat to businesses, their intellectual property and their good name if they don’t take the appropriate security measures.”

Brislen then goes on to describe the problems of running a Windows PC and writes, “Users are spending more time taking care of their PCs instead of taking care of business… Firewalls and anti-virus protection are no longer enough to keep confidential information out of the hands of competitors or fraudsters.”

Brislen concludes, “Perhaps the final word should go to Richard Clarke, the cyber-security adviser appointed by former US President Bill Clinton. Clarke, who toured New Zealand recently, said he has managed to protect his computer from more than 99 per cent of all known viruses, worms, network attacks and spyware. He runs an Apple [Macintosh], not a Microsoft PC, and says that does the job nicely.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
The Motley Fool: Windows viruses, Apple iPod’s ‘Halo Effect’ may drive switch from Windows to Mac OS X – September 21, 2004
Gartner VP: Windows is the biggest beta test the world has ever known – September 20, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
Review: Windows XP SP2 ‘remains leaky, profoundly unsafe on the internet’ – September 17, 2004
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: ‘The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh’ – September 16, 2004

40 Comments

  1. Seahawk

    Your obviously right mate and i’m obviously wrong – there will never be a virus for the Mac because it is perfectly designed.

    hang on – tell u what – bet the builders and designers of the Titanic thought the same damn thing.

    I hope that in 1, 10, 50 years time and the first snowball effect of virii hit the Mac you are still defending this opinion.

    As for market share argument – you just confirmed the viability of it.

    “Unix: lots of effort for minimal spread
    Windows: minimal effort for lots of spread”

    There are far smarter ppl than you and me around who could do what’s required to create a virus for the Mac.

    I’ll continue my level of sceptisicm if thats ok by you!

  2. either way this arguement pans out, in the future… I read somewhere that the WinCrap platform just recently celebrated its 100,000th known virus !!

    Gee… doesnt that make Billy Gates…”The Barry Bonds” of operating systems ??

    Still, at last count… as I recall… there were just 68 known viruses which affect the Mac… and all of those affected the Mac OS before OSX…

    ie: Classic…

    And even then… the last Mac virus was “SevenDust 666” which was last seen back in 1994, or thereabouts…

    So… by the numbers…. even Mac OS 9.x (and earlier) are significantly more secure than ANY flavor of WinDoze !!

  3. MacKnowitAll…

    I stand corrected…. using your link, I found that the “AutoStart Worm”… was last seen in 1998…

    Thanx..

    But if memory serves…. that one caused little damage, and the “quick-fix” was to turn off the “Auto Start” feature in your QuickTime…

  4. or conversely: is it not going to be the avalanche effect as it happens on Windows where a virus makes the turn of the world 10 times in one day.

    Just this: no more no less that what happens with viruses on Unices: hardly anyone notice because of limited spreading. So slow that sysadmins can repair before it becomes epidemic.

  5. Again: there are viruses for Unix. But hardly anyone notices. Not because there are not enough Unix platforms around. Because they do not spread as a wildfire as in Windows.

    Sysadmins get a security warning and there is plenty of time to adopt countermeasures and most of the times they affect a small % of the Unix population because configuration parameters vary wildly.

  6. Ref: “As for market share argument – you just confirmed the viability of it”

    I do not think you understood Ref: crackers *moved* to Windows when Windows had NO market share and the market was dominated by Unix.

    If market share had any impact on their choice they would have waited for Windows to become #1. They did not: they left the large market share of Unix and flocked around the puny Windows.

    It would be the same if todays’ crackers were to abandon Windows and start to target OS X.
    Their choice was a matter of convenience: why waste time on Unix where I do not spread (who cares how many are out there if you do not infect) when on Windows the problem does not exist: the OS does the spreading all by itself: who cares if they are few if I can infect them all?

    The whole pack of 5% market share is a lot more than 1% of 95%.

    Today crackers are on Windows because they get the whole pack of some 75% of the installed base.
    If Windows was hard to infect it would be more effective to go after a less penetrated OS but more easy to attack.

    Never forget that in ANY case, with ANY OS we are talking of tens of millions of platforms. ANY OS would be a good target.

    Windows would still be fun for crackers even if it had 10% of the market.

  7. I agree with IT_guy. The “We are attacked because we are #1” is the excuse MS found to hide the real reason: They are attacked because they are number one in the list for weakness and lack of security.

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