Times Online: Apple Macs much more secure than ‘clunky, erratic’ Microsoft Windows-based PCs

“I’m not very evangelical about much these days, but get me on to computers and I will bore you for hours about the merits of Apple over those clunky, erratic PCs. And my faith increased after a report this week that suggests small businesses will face meltdown in the next couple of years thanks to computer fraudsters and criminals,” Randall Northam writes for The Times Online as he “trembles behind his computer screen, fearful of assault on his business from computer fraudsters… So why do those of us with Apple computers have a smug smile on our faces? It’s because Apple has such a small share of the market that those hooligans who write computer viruses don’t bother with us.”

MacDailyNews Take: Northam is right about everything except his statement that Macs are more secure because of “small share of the market.” Mac OS X is simply more secure by design. “Security via Obscurity” is a myth. Please see the related articles below.

Northam continues, “DK Matai, the executive chairman of mi2g, says: ‘Banks are already beginning to shy away from their responsibility to compensate users in the event of an online fraud where they have issued warnings and the incapability of the user is to blame. The present computing environment is not fool-proof and is not safe enough for the average computer user who is not a geek or does not have a friend who is a geek. This era is likely to come to an end with a bang. Users and governments will demand change and they have the collective power to influence the thinking of computing and communications vendors who have consistently put profits and time-to-market before safety and security.’ Scary, but a lot less so if you own Apple Macs.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Why Apple’s Mac OS X works better for people than Windows – March 02, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X is simply much more secure than Microsoft’s Windows XP – February 01, 2005
Windows’ mounting security problems make some consumers eager to purchase Macs – January 03, 2005
Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads – December 30, 2004
Anzae/Inzae worm affects all Windows versions after 3.1; Macintosh unaffected – December 28, 2004
Unlike Windows users, Mac OS X users surf the Internet without a care in the world – December 28, 2004
Multiple unpatched Windows holes crop up; Windows systems compromised within minutes in experiment – December 24, 2004
Windows spyware mess is out of control, get a Mac and surf with impunity – December 21, 2004
New Microsoft Internet Explorer exploit spoofs Web sites on fully patched Windows XP systems – December 17, 2004
Microsoft may charge extra for Windows spyware protection software – December 16, 2004
Detroit Free Press: Windows malware problem getting worse, it’s time to get a Mac instead – December 16, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware headaches? Get a Mac and surf the Internet freely – December 13, 2004
Mossberg: Windows PCs plagued with problems, Apple’s Mac is ‘rock solid, elegant and affordable’ – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC? Don’t fret, just get a Mac – November 01, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity – November 01, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times columnist: Windows ‘many holes in its security’ but ‘none of my Macs have ever been affected – August 26, 2003
Sick of worms and viruses? ‘Move to Mac OS X’ suggests Chicago Tribune columnist – August 25, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. Sputnik,
    You are correct about IE on the Mac, Its dead, and thats a shame. However, as far as .Net goes for OS X, You can run .Net Apps on FreeBSD and OS X through the Common Language Infrustructure (MSCLI) they provide on their (microsoft’s) website. Furthermore, you can actually integrate .Net into Cocoa based apps using the apple dev tools.
    The Shared Source CLI archive contains the following technologies in source code form:
    An implementation of the runtime for the Common Language Infrastructure (ECMA-335) that builds and runs on Windows XP, the FreeBSD operating system, and Mac OS X 10.2.
    Compilers that work with the Shared Source CLI for C# (ECMA-334) and JScript.
    Development tools for working with the Shared Source CLI such as assembler/disassemblers (ilasm, ildasm), a debugger (cordbg), metadata introspection (metainfo), and other utilities.
    The Platform Adaptation Layer (PAL) used to port the Shared Source CLI from Windows XP to FreeBSD and Mac OS X.
    Build environment tools (nmake, build, and others).
    Documentation for the implementation.
    Test suites used to verify the implementation.
    A rich set of sample code and tools for working with the Shared Source CLI.

    So OS X can run .Net Apps. but they have to be (somewhat) rewritten.

  2. What is “.NET” again? Everytime I ask that question I get a different answer. Sputnik, what’s yours?

    The future is the Internet and STANDARDS. Microsoft uses their standard methodology to deal with standards it does not create. It’s called “Microsoft EEE.”

    First, Microsoft Embraces the technology in the standard. Then, Microsoft Extends the technology so only Microsoft browsers and backend systems can run the new Extensions.

    Then, of course, Microsoft Exterminates what’s left of the original standard.

    That worked fine for awhile and through cunning, illegal activity, Microsoft gained a major, dominating market share.

    Nothing lasts forever. Change is the universal constant. To compensate for Microsoft’s overbearing tactics and mediocre products, the marketplace has begun to change.

    Change. Think about it. Mac OS X and Macs in general are growing and Apple is prospering. Linux has exploded on the scene and is prospering. Microsoft’s once “good enough” software and devious marketing is having substantial difficulty competing against the now “good enough” open source software initiatives steadily moving through the IT world.

    The Internet? Think Apache (open source), PHP (open source), MySQL (open source), Linux servers (open source), and now the “platform of the Internet of the future”, Firefox, the open source browser.

    The Internet of the future is here now. It’s an open source future. In the future, Microsoft is just another player, albeit not a very good one.

    Will Microsoft continue in a dominant position? Yes, and for a few years to come. Will they continue in a controlling position? Hmmm. I think they’ve lost that battle already.

    Tera Patricks

  3. This whole idea that users are completely safe if they run OS X is like driving 100 MPH with no care in the world because you have a radar detector. Leads users to become complacent…MDN: don’t encourage this trend with nonsense comments.

  4. .NET is in no way ever going to be the future of the internet period.
    Nobody wants to be locked-in to MS architecture anymore (unless you live in Denmark).

    BTW radmind will do just fine for managing any size installatiion of Nix clients you want.

    Also can you say:

    xserve raid

    Windows is becoming an anachronism.

  5. “The future is the Internet and STANDARDS. Microsoft uses their standard methodology to deal with standards it does not create. It’s called “Microsoft EEE.”

    First, Microsoft Embraces the technology in the standard. Then, Microsoft Extends the technology so only Microsoft browsers and backend systems can run the new Extensions.

    Then, of course, Microsoft Exterminates what’s left of the original standard.” -Tera Patricks

    In some ways, you are correct Tera. However sometimes MS changes those standards because the “standards” they embrace are inferior to what they really could be. I dont think you have alot of insight when it comes to programming. MS has made some really terrible software in the past and even in the present it lacks somewhat. However there are some things that go un-noticed in the Dev World. And one of those things is the .Net Framework. It is a truly innovative product. It has simplified developement, Increased productivity, decreased time for deployment, improved security (by a long shot). I have never seen, in all my years of developing standards based programs, (web and desktop) a dev inviornment that comes remotely close the those tools provided by MS. Also, besides the point I made before about the .Net framework. All of the API’s used in developing web apps w/ MS technology are easily portable to apache, PHP, MySql and so on. I use MSVS for dev and Linux for hosting. So you cant sit here and tell me MS isnt a Standards based company. Sure they make their own standards and “force” (if you will) it on their customers. But most of the time, its better for the customer. As far as quality goes, Ive seen some horrific software written on both the Mac and on other GPL (OSS)based systems. I do think Linux will change the landscape a bit, but it isnt stopping MS from creating things that are “Standards” based. Doesn’t every company strive to become the leader in their industry?

  6. “In the “real IT world” we understand that all computers have security issues even Apple Computers.”

    Agreed. Just cause Mac OS is secure out of the box, secure by design, and secure by decades of testing and improvements (the unix core) its no reason to get sloppy in a network/ workplace environment.

    “Furthermore we look for tools and solutions from our OEM vendors that will allow us to administer our enterprise assets. “

    Available and built into OS X server, with DOZENS of CLI admin programs available. You know, Command Line Interface, Unix tools used by the REAL Real World IT pros.

    “Microsoft has the tools that allow us to manipulate the registry on the fly and remotely mirror our workstation hard drives daily to eliminate virus’s and malware.”

    OK, darn, you really nailed OS X users on that pesky problem causing registry. OS X doesn’t have a registry, so you win. You can have it. I and most OS X users wouldn’t want it anyway.

    “Apple does not have these tools and therefore is not a viable platform.”

    OK, no registry means no registry tools. As for system back up, mirroring, and imaging to restore system software, applications and etc to a computer, well, Thats easy. Been doing it with OS X server for at least a couple of years.

    “In addition the global standard for the internet “IE” (Internet Explorer) is no longer supported on the Apple platform.”

    You made a very glaring ommission/ typo here. Your statement should have read “Global Standard for Insecurity on the internet” Yeah, MS killed development because it couldn’t compete with Safari, for features and security. Apple needs to make some improvements here also, or Mozilla will eat Apple’slunch, and tell Apple to take their own trash to the curb.

    “The future is the internet and the .NET framework and Apple is not able to run any of the new and exciting network applications that are being developed globally.”

    again, (from previous MDN article) .what??? nore like .not

    “Why would you want to use a computer in 2005 that can’t even run the default browser used by the entire world.”

    Again, maybe to be secure?

  7. “OK, darn, you really nailed OS X users on that pesky problem causing registry. OS X doesn’t have a registry, so you win. You can have it. I and most OS X users wouldn’t want it anyway.” – DarkNite

    I would rather have the registry than the hundreds of .pref files in OS X. At least there is one pooint of entry. The “pesky” problems that are found in the registry have no connection to MS. Most of the time those problems are due to poorly written software. Especially Installers that don’t remove those bad reg entries.

    Other than that, the registry can be one hell of a powerful tool, but its not for the inexperienced.

    Tell Me darknite, can you remove the shutdown option from the apple menu in OS X. If you can,(without a 3rd party program) let me know how.

  8. “Tell Me darknite, can you remove the shutdown option from the apple menu in OS X. If you can,(without a 3rd party program) let me know how.” – KernelManic

    Uh, yeah. ‘Cause that’s such an essential thing to do.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    You Wintel zoids are hilarious! I read the posts by the likes of Wintel IT geeks like Sputnik and KernelPanic and I practically pee in my pants from laughter at their idiocy. C’mon guys, how about a little common sense?? Has that completely excapted the Wintel zombies or what!

  9. Actually, in our case, it is essential.

    Yeah, there are the Wintel Droids out there. but I am more classified as a WinAMD Droid (I’ve never owned an Intel system, and never will). We also make the decisions on whether or not to buy mac servers. In my case, we did. And they require just as much time and money as the Wintel Servers we use.

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