“Millions of college students soon will arrive on campuses, armed with new personal computers. And while many will be reasonably computer-savvy, users should note that setting up a machine, downloading security patches and getting safely connected to the Internet all involve more than a few mouse clicks and typing a few passwords,” David Sharos reports for The Chicago Tribune.
Sharos reports, “Cupertino, Calif.-based Internet security company Symantec Corp. recently conducted tests of five PCs it purchased through various channels, including direct from the manufacturer, a national electronics retail store, a discount retailer, a national retail warehouse and a local made-to-order PC shop. Given the out-of-the-box experience most manufacturers promise, the results of Symantec’s tests may seem surprising.
Sharos reports, “We found that there were 49 mouse clicks needed to set up one of the machines, and a total setup time of 81 minutes,’ said Kraig Lane, group product manager for Symantec Consumer Products. ‘The point of our study was not about finding the easiest computer to use–it was to demonstrate these setup issues take more than 10 minutes. And if care isn’t taken, machines are going to be quickly compromised.’ Infestation by computer viruses occurs less than an hour out of the box. During a survivability study using ‘honeypots’–machines set up without any virus or spyware protection–Symantec found new machines were “infested” within 20 minutes after logging on to the Internet.”
Sharos reports that Tim Bajarin, principal analyst for Creative Strategies, “notes that until recently, Apple products were far less prone to virus attacks due to the company’s virtual control of hardware, software and patches. ‘With about 4 percent of the market, it’s foolish of the ‘bad guys’ to crack the Mac system when they’ve already done so much damage on the Windows’ side,’ he said.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Peter Tambroni” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Bajarin must have been misquoted because there’s no way somebody would still believe the “Secuirty Via Obscurity” myth in today in August 2006, right? Sigh. It really is FUDday! Okay, so here we go again, once more for old time’s sake:
“Security via Obscurity” is a myth. Mac OS X has zero (0) viruses. For over five years and counting. No Mac OS X users affected outside of a lab with old, non-updated Mac OS versions that they intentionally infected.
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.
Macs account for roughly 10% of the world’s personal computer users — (some say as much as 16%) — so the first half of the myth doesn’t even stand up to scrutiny. 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 dictate the numbers of viruses. The fact that Mac OS X has zero (0) viruses totally 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 CEO Steve Jobs yesterday at WWDC, there are “19 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.
Tim Bajarin, Principal Analyst, Creative Strategies:
The Chicgao Tribune Business Editor:
Online Letter to the Editor here.
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