Analyst: McAfee’s recent Apple Mac security report is ‘sloppy scaremongering’

“The prevailing belief among Mac users that their systems are more or less impervious to hack attacks might be incorrect, according to a report released late last week by security firm McAfee… McAfee’s report follows on the heels of a study by the SANS Institute that placed Mac OS X at the top of its list of potential security vulnerabilities,” Walaika K. Haskins reports for Newsfactor. “However, while many in the security industry have jumped on the ‘Mac is not secure’ bandwagon, several experts have taken issue with the way the Mac is being positioned as a potentially insecure system.”

“Andrew Jaquith, an analyst at the Yankee Group, is one such expert. He called the McAfee report ‘sloppily written and sloppy in its use of statistics.’ It is, he said, ‘a speculative house of cards resting on a foundation of shaky statistics and questionable assumptions.’ As one example, said Jaquith, McAfee has confused software flaws with attacks. In the report, Jaquith said, the company cites vulnerability figures from Secunia, a security software firm, as ‘attacks,’ even though Secunia itself identifies them as ‘vulnerabilities,'” Haskins reports. “Software flaws are not the same as attacks against the end user, Jaquith pointed out. ‘Saying otherwise is scaremongering, pure and simple,’ Jaquith said. ‘And, in fact, they don’t document a single confirmed attack.’ Jaquith did say that the Mac, like any other system, is not impenetrable. He also pointed out that Apple, for its part, has never claimed that Mac OS X is bulletproof.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “matt” for the heads up.]

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27 Comments

  1. Lot of that going around. The viruses are coming, the viruses are coming.
    What’s sad is it may be scaring away the switcher. Get your cheap windows but don’t forget the 400 dollars worth of virus/malware/spyware/underwear software.

  2. ok so mcAfee wants us to buy virus protection for no known viruses – even if a virus did appear owners on mcAfee would have to wait for an update (however long that would take against this virus. ill get protection not only when there is a virus but when there is also a solution to it – and thatll prob be Clam as its free.

  3. Virus list for Windows: 100,000 plus and growing…!
    Virus list for Os X: One to maybe two, and then these need that the user helped (by running as admin/root) the virus/trojan to get it.

    Scare tactics do sell, look at the Y2K scare. All the other virus/trojans that did affect the PC world, some of these didn’t even affect that many systems.
    But it did help the companies that sell “security” software.

    As a Computer Technician, I had to help some of my PC user friends to get their systems cleaned of all these attacks. In one occasion I had to clean a system with over 1,900 virus and about 700 spyware programs installed in my friend’s PC. Obviously I recommended they get a Mac, and since it took a long time to clean I charged him for the job (3 hrs.).

    After it happened 2 more times he finally followed my advice and bought a Mac Mini. Needless to say they love it, he even thanked me for showing him how much better is working in an enviroment were you could work with less fear.

  4. The last sentence in the article reads “it’s going to take something big like the major attacks and major loss of service” for Mac users to purchase antivirus software.”

    The sentence should read for Mac users to purchase anything from McAfee! Are they trying for switcher business? Anyone who has been around awhile certainly would not buy from them.

  5. A buddy of mine put it best:

    “Back when I used Windows, I didn’t really mind it. Now that I use a Mac, I can’t imagine ever going back to Windows.”

    Or how about this exchange my mom told me she had with one of her coworkers…

    Coworker lady: “Once you get done with your Mac, you’ll go back to the other kind.”

    My mom: “No, I won’t.”

  6. “The prevailing belief among Ass users that their systems are more or less impervious to hack attacks might be incorrect, according to a report released late last week by security firm McAfee… McAfee’s report follows on the high heels of a study by the SANS Institute that placed Ass OS X at the top of its list of potential security vulnerabilities,” Walaika K. Haskins reports for Newsfactor. “However, while many in the security industry have jumped on the ‘Ass is not secure’ bandwagon, several experts have taken issue with the way the Ass is being positioned as a potentially insecure system.”

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