“[Analysts] do agree on one area where Apple has an advantage: Security. Macs are targeted by viruses and hacking attacks far less often than machines running Microsoft’s Windows simply because there are fewer of them around. Computer criminals strive for maximum impact, so they pay less attention to the relatively small number of Mac users,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.
“While Microsoft struggles to build firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus technology into Windows, Mac users are for the most part untroubled by these annoyances, and that’s a point it could press, says Richard Forno, a principal consultant with KRVW Associates, a computer-security firm in Alexandria, Va. ‘I’m seeing more and more people in the security business using Macs and saying they trust them and don’t have to cope with viruses and other hassles,’ he says. ‘I just wish Apple would market its security as a key feature to corporate customers.’ Of course, the more popular Apple machines become, the more likely they are to be targeted by hackers and virus writers,” Hesseldahl writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The idea that Windows’ morass of security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no security problems because less people use Macs, is simply not true. Mac OS X is not more secure than Windows because less people use OS X, making it less of a target. By design, Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Period. For reference and reasons why Mac OS X is more secure than Windows, read The New York Times’ David Pogue’s mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.
Hesseldahl is the same writer who wrote for Forbes back in June 2003, “Naysayers have been calling for Apple’s demise for years. But Apple not only has survived but thrived, it seems, at least partially by the sheer force of Jobs’ will and his ability to maintain the ferocious loyalty of Apple’s users, who still account for 10% of the world’s computer users, while its sales usually account for about 3% to 5% of the world global PC market.”
So, if Macs account for 10% or so (some say as much as 16%), then, according to Mr. Hesseldahl himself, Macs aren’t “obscure” at all. Therefore, the Apple Mac platform’s ironclad security simply cannot logically be attributed to obscurity.
There are zero-percent (0%) of viruses for the Mac OS X platform that should, logically, have some 10-16% of the world’s viruses if platforms’ install bases dictated the numbers of viruses. The fact that Mac OS X has zero (0) viruses discounts “security via obscurity.” There should be at least some Mac OS X viruses. There are none. The reason for this fact is not attributable solely to “obscurity,” it’s attributable to superior security design.
Still not convinced? Try this one on for size: according to Apple, there are “close to 16 million Mac OS X users” in the world and there are still zero (0) viruses. According to CNET, the Windows Vista Beta was released “to about 10,000 testers” at the time the first Windows Vista virus arrived. So much for the security via obscurity myth.
Arik Hesseldahl’s email address is:
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