“Some things just aren’t credible on their face, so when George Ou mined Secunia’s security advisories for vulnerability data to prove that Mac OS X is less secure than Windows/XP, I had an immediate problem. According to his research Secunia’s security advisories since January 2004 cover about 238 serious Mac OS X vulnerabilities and only 95 Windows/XP ones, and a 2.5:1 ratio favoring Windows didn’t seem reasonable,” Paul Murphy blogs for ZDNet. “Now, in fact, Secunia doesn’t issue vulnerability reports, they issue security advisories – 37 of them with respect to Mac OS X and 151 with respect to Windows/XP (Home and Professional only), during the period. Since those numbers show a 4:1 ratio in Apple’s favor – the opposite of what George found – I’m guessing he got his result by looked inside each advisory to count the CVEs it mentioned.”
“Unfortunately that’s not the worst problem with the analysis. The biggest problem is that he invites the reader to draw a wholly erroneous conclusion from his numbers: that Mac OS is less secure than Windows/XP,” Murphy blogs. “The reality is that a vulnerability without an exploit doesn’t threaten anyone’s security… you need a legal login to get started and the exploit is aimed at raising your permission levels. That’s traditional for an attacker in a multi-user environment, but absurd for a MacOS X desktop machine for which the only legal user has full control already. In Wintel’s case virtually every vulnerability is exploitable; that’s why there are thousands of successful attacks and why we see a daily parade of new viruses, worms, or other threats… the simple reality is that almost no MacOS X users have ever been affected by viruses or worms – while virtually every Windows/XP user wastes at least some time on this every day.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The fact that the security of Mac OS X and Windows are even being discussed in the same breath means that the AV companies and Microsoft apologists are achieving their goal. It’s also another great proof that humans are generally stupid. Obviously, our headline and the whole discussion really should go without saying.
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