Microsoft’s Gates tries FUD to keep people from switching to Apple’s secure Mac

“I saw what Bill Gates had to say in a recent Newsweek interview about the Mac as compared to Vista,” Scott Granneman reports for SecurityFocus.

Gates in Newsweek: I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.

MacDailyNews Note: Please see related MacDailyNews article: Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007

Granneman reports, “My reaction, like most knowledgeable people who read this, was open-mouthed astonishment. Now, either Bill is heavily drugged and delusional, which I don’t believe, or he’s just completely ignorant, which I also discount, or he knows exactly what he’s saying and has an ulterior motive. That’s my best guess.”

Granneman reports, “Bill Gates knows that he’s at best exaggerating and at worst completely lying through his teeth. So why’s he doing it? Because he also knows that Apple’s new ads are helping Macs to sell like hot cakes, and that security is a big reason why a lot of people are throwing up their hands in disgust at Windows and switching to Apple’s computers. Who reads Newsweek? Not computer pros, but Joe and Jane Computeruser, and Joe and Jane tend to believe what they read in the mainstream media when it comes to computers, especially when that nice, smart philanthropist Bill Gates is the one saying it. He’s Mr. Computer, after all, so he must be right!”

Granneman reports, “A few years ago, Steve Ballmer ranted about open source in the Chicago Sun-Times, bellowing that ‘Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source.’ This is obviously horsehockey, and it’s just as obvious that Ballmer knew that it was horsehockey, but he said it anyway knowing that many readers of the Chicago Sun-Times would believe what he said because he is a rich, important businessman. Bill Gates’ claim that ‘security guys break the Mac every single day’ is just as ludicrous, and just as calculated.”

“In both cases, fear is the string these two maestros are plucking. The ignorant will come away from reading the earlier interview believing that Linux is dangerous and will doom their companies, while the later interview may keep a few more people from switching to Mac OS because it’s getting broken into every single day,” Granneman reports. “Apple [also] uses fear to sell computers, but it’s a heck of a lot more accurate in what it both says and implies, while Microsoft’s leaders tend to nakedly push the buttons of fear willy-nilly, facts and reality be damned.”

Full article here.

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

Related articles:
Wow: Microsoft’s Windows Vista already hacked – February 09, 2007
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007

85 Comments

  1. NO MAC USING OS X HAS EVER BEEN HACKED WITHOUT PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE COMPUTER AND THE ADMIN PASSWORD.

    What a load of crap. I had an Xserve running web database and Postfix mail relay services get remote rooted by a cracker using the Opener rootkit. Fortunately it was easy to recover and only experienced about 4 hours downtime once intrusion was discovered, but your statement is demonstrably false.

    However, I would like to point out that we’re running Windows Server 2003 on two machines running frontline IIS/SQL web and Exchange services since September 16, 2004, and neither of those Windows Server machines have ever been compromised. One of them has been in service without reboot since December 14, 2005.

    So much for the Mac security illusion.

  2. @ken1w

    Dead right. Anecdotal evidence from people I speak to suggests that the younger the individual, the more likely they are to be considering a Mac. Apple say that 50% of mac customers in their stores are new to Mac. And Apple are opening a lot of stores.

    Does Microsoft see a trend? Well, perhaps they are selling a lot more Office for Mac than ever before. That is likely to draw attention to the uptick in Mac market share wouldn’t you say?

    I would love to know how Office for Mac sales are doing… I guess a lot of Mac users DON’T buy Office, but if the ratio has not changed the trend would be unmistakeable I would have thought…

  3. I would love to know how Office for Mac sales are doing… I guess a lot of Mac users DON’T buy Office, but if the ratio has not changed the trend would be unmistakeable I would have thought…

    Office for Mac sales are virtually non-existent, and nobody really cares. Office for Windows sales are booming:
    CNet Report

    It would seem Vista business sales are also quite impressive.

    I wonder why these headlines never make the cut on MDN? After all, they’re about Microsoft, which is the main topic on this forum……..

  4. @ former mac user

    YOU ARE A LIAR.
    unless you are going for comic effect.otherwise,
    YOU ARE A LIAR.
    I work for a security firm who handles more traffic than anyone, and i can tell you that we have even stopped MAKING anti-virus software for the mac because of its built in security, we will make NO money on it. the only thing we make for the mac platform is a piece of software that tells you not to give up personal information on fraudulent websites, called confidential.

    we have had not a single report in six+ years of ANYONE hacking into mac OS X remotely, and only several ‘concepts’ which when put into practice required such a combination of unlikely circumstances to even get past the first layer of the OS that they are considered 99.99% ineffective, or incapable of being executed.

    your story of an x-serve being compromised while running OS X server is untrue, and misleading. if those servers were running exchange, windows 2003, or SUSE i would buy it, but the hybrid kernel in OS X is what makes it nearly IMPOSSIBLE for a remote hacker to write code that can access the root of the system, especially since NO ONE even administrators have root access by default in the OS.

    do you know how to write code? do you know how many man hours have been spent researching false stories such as yours by people like me? i can tell you that NONE of them have turned out to be factual and on the up and up. especially the black hat conference when we asked for a blueprint of what those guys did, and how they did it so we could develop a counter measure to deploy to the community. guess what, we are STILL waiting. their response to our inquiries is that “this was a one time successful demonstration, and we have had trouble repeating our findings”, why you ask?

    BECAUSE THEY HACKED OS 10.1.5, WHICH IS OVER FIVE AND 3/4 YEARS OLD AND ALSO INCLUDED THIRD PARTY HARDWARE PRODUCTS WHICH DID NOT USE APPLE’S INTERNAL FIRMWARE, BUT RATHER THE GENERIC FIRMWARE FOR THE DEVICE. OS 10.4.8 HAS A DIFFERENT INTERNAL STRUCTURE THAN EVERYTHING BEFORE 10.3, NOTHING THAT WORKED ON THE SIMPLE MACH/BSD KERNEL WILL WORK NOW AND HASN’T SINCE EARLY 2003. THEIR “DEMONSTRATION” DURING THE CONFERENCE WAS NOT DONE LIVE, BUT PLAYED OVER A SCREEN CAPTURE UTILITY WHICH ALLOWED THEM TO ‘DEMONSTRATE’ THEIR ABILITIES TO THE AUDIENCE. THE MACHINE USED FOR THE ‘DEMONSTRATION’ WAS PLAYING VIDEO OUT TO A PROJECTOR, AND WAS NOT AT ANY TIME UNDER REMOTE CONTROL.

    We have studied this for years, and have been confident enough to STOP making our anti-virus products for the macintosh, THEY DO NOT NEED IT.

  5. your story of an x-serve being compromised while running OS X server is untrue, and misleading

    You stupid, ignorant moron. The XNU kernel used in Mac OS X has nothing whatsoever to do with system security and root access to OS X. That’s handled by NetInfo.

    The Xserve that I was in charge of was imaged immediately after intrusion was detected, then cleaned up and put back in service. Forensic analysis revealed it was rooted by privilege escalation due to a forged DHCP response, and once root was gained the Opener rootkit was installed by the cracker to take control of the machine.

    And further, your anti-virus rant has nothing whatsoever to do with remote exploits of privilege escalation vulnerabilities that have existed and gone unpatched by Apple in everything from TFTPD to OpenSSH.

    Calling me a liar is pointless and only reveals the true nature of what you are – an idiot.

  6. @former Mac User

    You should set aside your determination to “prove” that Apple is irrelevant at least long enough to read and understand a post before you launch into a nonsensical rant.

    You miss the point, yet again.

    WHATEVER the sales of Office for Mac it is the percentage increase that is relevant here. If MS only sold 3000 copies of Office for Mac every year until 2006 and are now selling at a rate of 6000 copies a year, then that may provide Microsoft with DIRECT INTELLIGENCE of the rate of increase in Mac marketshare.

    Now Bill Gates repeatedly says that Microsoft sell “a lot” of software for the Mac – and apart from Virtual PC what else is there except Office now that IE for Mac is dead?

    “Office Sales are booming”
    Um… Did you really read that report? It shows Office 2007 sales in the first week of launch were double what Office 2003 sales were in the first week of its launch. But whether that is an increase in sales or a decrease in sales is not mentioned. After all Office 2003 sales should have been much higher at the end of its life because of the general boom in the desktop PC market.

    “Vista business Sales are impressive”
    You didn’t read this either did you? Not even the first sentence: “The sales …slightly trailed that for Windows XP.

    VISTA SALES TRAILED WINDOWS XP.
    ——————————
    In other words, despite 5 years of development and 5 years of booming desktop sales, Vista sold LESS COPIES than XP in the same period after launch.

    Matey. You are a wanker. A waste of space.

  7. @Former Mac User

    “Forensic analysis revealed it was rooted by privilege escalation due to a forged DHCP response”

    Well smarty pants, here is your opportunity to redeem yourself. Please explain how a forged DHCP response was used to achieve a privilege escalation.

    Since you are apparently the only one in the whole wide world who has suffered a hack such as this, your post in reply will be read with great interest by all of us here who have Apple OS/X servers connected to the net.

    Please include all applicable software versions in your post.

  8. re: Hate them or not, ethics aside, it is a smart strategy from a business perspective. The majority of people will believe them and they know it. So what if people i the know think they are lying. They are in a minority.
    Reporters from common, Joe Citizen mags or newspapers are the ones that will have to get the word out about this crap. I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

    —-

    It may be ‘clever’ but ITS FACTUALLY TOTALLY INCORRECT.

    I don’t call lying about other companies products to mainstream media ethical.

    Apple shoudl ramp up the aint Vista marketing straight away and go for Microsoft’s bollocks.

  9. Well smarty pants, here is your opportunity to redeem yourself. Please explain how a forged DHCP response was used to achieve a privilege escalation.

    Are you an ignoramus? Of course I’m going to post(confidential)company information on a compromised server on a Mac forum!

    You people really are a bunch of children!

    I would suggest reading about it on Secunia’s website – the server was owned and operated by AST Communications, and I was the system admin in charge of it. It resulted in Advisory SA10295, which went unpatched by Apple for a full 3 months after being initially reported.

    Let’s just say I wasn’t too impressed with Apple’s timeliness.

  10. dude, wtf? first of all, everything you described in your explaniation is only possible if there was a local admin directing the server in question who has root access priveledges.

    a forged DHCP response would not trigger a shutdown or an infiltration of the system for control purposes by a bot farm, which is what the discussion was.
    the way the kernel is tructured, by the way, has everything to do with how priveledge escallation and file permissions are granted.

    the ONLY way to disrupt the system and force remote control is to access the kernel at the root level and change ALL of the file permissions in such a way that the remote user can read and write at will without the system knowing about it, and before it repairs them automatically which because of the multi hybrid nature of the ‘stack’ the machine does in every clock cycle. the ONLY permissions that are accessible to the user are that on the application layer of the OS, not the root/startup/background essential services which are LOCKED OUT BY DEFAULT and only changeable by booting the local host into single user mode (which cannot be done without a physical key combination) and reprogramming the directories to do the opposite of what they do automatically.

    doing these by remote hack is not possible, and is the main reason why nothing can compromise the system itself. applications can become vulnerable, sure, but you then throw them in the trash, do a secure delete and renistall them and since they are only on the application layer of the OS it does not disrupt the system itself. this is the major difference between hybrid kernel systems and single kernel models.

    on a single kernel the object oriented framework can only be presented graphically and is not able to function in its natural state, and instead behaves as a linear system in which at only the application layer LOOKS like an object based framework but still functions linearly with startup items and a registry of permissions and files which need to be cycled through every clock cycle of the processor. Hybrid kernels do NOT do this, each section of the kernel is capable of running independently of the other or working together thus making object frameworks possible because they do not need to cycle through the entire subsystem every cycle. have a nice day.

    three months? apple’s average response time is 2 days, based on the last six years of data. so they took 90 days to respond to you which means that EVERYONE ELSE on EARTH that uses an apple machine (40million, assuming one major hack/vulnerability a moth for six years= 74 incidents, that we know of, would mean TOTAL response time of 148 days, and with your 90 that leaves 58 to work with) GOT THEIR PATCH IN LESS THAN 12 HOURS, that is not true or possible so i, and everyone else has to continue to assume that you arew full of it.

    MW: stop, as in stop acting like you know what your talking about.

  11. It’s funny, this correlation.
    Gates & neo-cons.

    As others have stated, people will believe ANY lie, if presented in a “factual” way.

    I use quotes on the word “factual”, in the same way I use them when referencing Faux “news” InfoTainment (TM).

    It’s funny how the bigger the lie, the more sanctimonious the liar.
    Like all those righteous Republicans who spent a year, and $40 mil to determine if Clinton lied about getting a blowjob, (which he did) from someone who wanted to give it to him!
    Meanwhile Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz’ lie is costing, what, how many billions per month? Anyone know?

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