Architectural flaws in Microsoft Windows already solved in Apple’s Mac OS X

“Here is the first of five examples of core Windows architectural problems that relate to process management, applications and security,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.

Eran explains, “When writing the second article in the Wishlist for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard series, I started by comparing ideas Apple that had borrowed from Windows, ideas they could borrow, and areas where Mac OS X was already ahead. The latter begat five articles, of which this is the first. Flaw 1 – Windows’ Interactive Services: Like all UNIX distributions, Mac OS X spawns background system processes, called daemons, to handle various tasks. When a user logs into Mac OS X, a special security context is created for that user. Any applications that user launches are started under that user’s credentials. Background processes can respond to requests from user-level applications, but they can not initiate any contact with the user, nor present any graphical interface, because they operate in a separate security context. This is an important security measure that is missing in Windows…”

Full article here.

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  1. Why do so many people assume Apple’s security must be EITHER through better implemented security measures (which it has)


    due to “security through obscurity”?

    The plain, simple truth is Apple has BOTH going in it’s favor.

    Of course the evil-doers in this world are going to go after the bigger (and easier) target: Windows. Common sense. For example, take a look at – real life. The evil-doers who attacked the United States on September 11 attacked two of the largest centers in the US (one known for finances, one known for political and military power) because of the impact it would make upon our country. They did not attack Farmville, Virginia or Clearwater, Florida – no offense to either of those places.

    The bottom line is this:
    1) Yes, the Mac has better security measures built into the system.

    2) Yes, Microsoft has a much bigger market share than Apple has.

    IMHO, some Mac Fans (and some websites) will not even acknowledge “Security through obscurity” plays a role because it reminds us that yes, Microsoft has a much bigger market share than Apple.

    I’ll get off my soapbox for now. Peace.

  2. Lurker_PC: Any competent security adviser will tell you that “security through obscurity” is no security at all. It is nothing more than an urban legend.

    Popular notion is that hackers only attack Windoze because they can get more “bang for the buck,” but that totally ignores the fact that most hacking is for the challenge of it. Being the first to hack into Mac OS would carry considerable prestige in the hacker community. That the prize goes unclaimed does not mean it has been overlooked nor ignored.

  3. Luker_PC

    I agree! to completely ignore the security thru obscurity argument is foolish. I believe OS X is more secure fundamentally but the reality is that there are a lot of people going after bang for the buck when it comes to exploitation and viruses.

  4. Don’t forget that many viruses/trojans/worms/etc. out there are not new, ground-up malware creations. Many of them are simply retreads with new hooks, or slightly changed behaviors, which play on the same unsecurity holes in Windows. Most of these “authors” are too lazy or not capable of developing their own malware, so they use what others have done.

    It will be a challenge to hack Mac OS X. Someone will probably do it, when he or she deems it worth their time. But I think it will be far less harmful than a Windows malware due to OS X’s security measures, and therefore it won’t get the publicity beyond being the first to work.

    That doesn’t mean we Mac users can wander through life not taking security precautions. We must learn from our Windows counterparts and not let their disaster jump over to our side of the fence.

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