“The latest round of Apple ads aimed at convincing consumers to drop their Windows PCs and join the millions of people happily using Macs kicked off this week,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “Naturally, this campaign — especially the virus-themed spot — served as the starting gun for another round of the endless debates in computer-security circles over how secure the Mac actually is. So far, it has been pretty smooth sailing with a few minor hiccups that caused little or no damage.”
Hesseldahl rightly takes the SANS Institute to task for ludicrously describing Apple’s Mac OS X “reputation for offering a bulletproof alternative to Windows is in tatters” and calls the press reports “misguided.”
“Only a month before that, the press got all wide-eyed over the tale of two ‘viruses’ circulating the Internet that targeted the Mac. They weren’t viruses at all, but rather Trojan horse programs that did nothing more than replicate themselves, and didn’t even do that well. At the time security investigators at Symantec said they had documented only a handful of users actually receiving the Trojan,” Hesseldahl writes. “But this week saw another round of press coverage on Mac security. An Associated Press story detailed how two people clicked on a series of links promising an update to their operating system and found that something fishy happened instead. I may be missing something, but it seems to me it wasn’t the computer that was hacked, but the user who was fooled into taking an action that proved slightly harmful to the computer.”
Then, Hesseldahl writes, “there’s a persistent perception that because Apple is moving to the Intel (INTC) platform and now allows Macs to boot to Microsoft’s Windows, the potential for more security mischief rooted in Windows could raise a ruckus on the Mac… ask yourself this question: How often have you heard blame being cast upon Intel for computer-security problems in the PC world? Practically all computer-security outbreaks in the Windows world attack weaknesses in software, either within the operating system itself, or applications running on it. As yet, Mac OS X remains untroubled in this respect.”
Hesseldahl writes, “Meanwhile, there’s a growing perception that since Mac is getting more popular, the tiny bull’s-eye on the bitten Apple logo will only grow, at least in the eyes of the people who make malware… Bud Tribble, who heads up [Apple’s] software development, took issue with that characterization, saying, ‘There’s no such thing as not being targeted. We’ve always been targeted. It’s false reasoning to say that we’re only being targeted now, and that we’re somehow less secure or that there’s somehow an increase in threats.'”
Excellent full article, email it to your confused Windows friends, here.
MacDailyNews Take: Bravo, Mr. Hesseldahl, for telling it like it really is – and all in one convenient article, too!
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