Techworld writer criticizes Apple’s security methods

“Here we go again. Security experts warn that there is a hole in one of Apple’s products, Apple says there isn’t a problem, and a month later it releases a fix for it. A journalist (me) writes a story pointing this out and is faced with email abuse from the Apple faithful,” Kieren McCarthy writes for Techworld.

McCarthy writes, “Exactly the same thing has happened several times in the past and it’s not just me saying it, it’s anyone that points out the startlingly obvious: that OS X, Safari, MacBooks, whatever, do not exist within some holy forcefield of invulnerability – they are just electronic products.”

“Anyone who covers Apple’s security problems is very quickly faced with the same frustrating pattern. A hole is discovered and then Apple either refuses to discuss the issue or it says it is ‘looking into the issue’ and refuses to say anything else until it has properly reviewed it. The company then produces a fix in its own time and releases it along with a whole bunch of other patches, providing the bare minimum of information in the hope no one notices,” McCarthy writes.

McCarthy writes, “At no point does it inform its users that there is a problem, and it goes out of its way to underplay the extent of the hole in the advisories when the fix is finally produced.”

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: These Microsoft apologists that fruitlessly attempt to equate Apple Mac security with Windows insecurity would have an easier time equating a grain of sand with a continent. What does McCarthy want instead, for Apple to thoroughly detail any issue for malware writers before there is a fix available? You can criticize Apple all you want, but the end result of their methods defies criticism: protected Mac users surf the Internet with impunity.

Regardless of platform, do not download, install and run applications from untrusted sources.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
McAfee: Microsoft ‘taking security risks’ with long-delayed, oft-pared-down Windows Vista – October 02, 2006
Why is Apple’s Mac OS X so much more secure than Microsoft’s Windows? – October 01, 2006
Apple Macs are far more secure than Windows PCs – September 26, 2006
Oxymoron: Microsoft security – August 12, 2006
Symantec details more security holes in Microsoft’s Windows Vista – July 26, 2006
Symantec: Microsoft’s ‘improvements’ to Vista could cause instability, new security flaws – July 18, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
Unix expert: Mac OS X much more secure than Windows; recent Mac OS X security stories are media hype – May 03, 2006
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005

28 Comments

  1. Amazing how these “tech writers” completely ignore the points made against their “article”. Writers like this have no business being published.

    Daring fireball has two excellent articles detailing, point by point, why this so called Tech Writer needs to stop writing. Now.

  2. Criticizing OSX security? That’s a real joke. Let’s see 0 viruses,0 spyware compared to Windows 300,000+ viruses and probably the same if not more spyware. Umteen times of security failures and companies getting hacked. OSX 0 times once again.

    Okay so who has got the security problems?
    It’s not OSX or the Mac buddy.

  3. Excellent take. The results really are what’s important.

    If we apply the same dingbat logic from Kieren McCarthy, Toyota must really be slipping on the customer service end because they have far fewer recalls.

  4. Even if OSX were to collapse tomorrow and have a flood or legitimate security problems, the bottom line is that I’ve been fine for years, others have been fine for years before that and it would still be a long time before the situation could ever become as bad as it is with Windows. Therefore I am happy, since it’s not even close to being like that, I’m even happier.

  5. Well, I’ll always be watchful and careful when it comes to invading software bugs, but the fact remains that, since OS X, I’ve spent zero time and zero dollars dealing with all of the enormous security issues that Apple is constantly ignoring (according to the writer of the article). Hell, if Apple actually started making a big deal out of the inevitable hole patching that they and all OS developers do, all it would do is piss off these MS apologists even more because there’s really just no news there.

  6. “Anyone who covers Apple’s security problems is very quickly faced with the same frustrating pattern. A hole is discovered and then Apple either refuses to discuss the issue or it says it is ‘looking into the issue’ and refuses to say anything else until it has properly reviewed it. The company then produces a fix in its own time and releases it along with a whole bunch of other patches, providing the bare minimum of information in the hope no one notices,”

    So she tells Apple about a security hole, and they fix it. For some reason this makes her angry. What is it she would like them to do, buy her dinner? Plaster her name on the wall? Build a statue in front of the building?

    I went to a website once with the beta version of safari. The site didn’t load very well, so I clicked ‘the bug’. In the 1.0 release the website worked fine – I’ve been pissed ever since!

  7. “. . . holy forcefield of invulnerability – they are just electronic products.”

    Blasphemer!

    Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she’s a witch?
    Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
    Sir Bedevere: A newt?
    Crowd: [meekly after a long pause] … I got better.
    Crowd: [shouts] Burn her anyway!

  8. (S)he is frustrated with Apple because if Apple was to admit to some sort of problem,(s)he’d figure the Pulitzer Prize was only a hot story away. When Apple simply fixes something, there’s no way this person gets a scoop or the credit for blowing Apple’s “cover”.

    Always follow the money (or the fame), and you’ll usually find the truth.

  9. I really wish we could be a little more humble around here about security. EVERY OS has holes and they will be exploited. The more “Ra Ra Ra” the hackers hear about OSX the more they will want to attack. Just be happy that we dont have to deal with it now because it will happen and hopefully all this chest beating will subside.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.