National Security Agency gives Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger glowing security endorsement

Apple Store“The National Security Agency – the U.S. government’s cryptologic organization, has given Mac OS X 10.4 a glowing endorsement for security,” Charles W. Moore writes for Applelinks.

Moore writes, “The NSA is a bleeding-edge high-tech spy outfit, so their endorsement of an operating system’s security carries a lot of weight. In the introduction to its ‘Mac OS X Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later, Second Edition,’ the NSA says:

As part of a change in our development strategy for security guidance, the National Security Agency does not intend to publish separate security guides for the Macintosh OS X operating system beyond that which was produced by the vendor, beginning with Tiger, OS X version 10.4.x. The recommendations in Apple’s “Mac OS X Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later” and “Mac OS X Server Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later” track closely with the security level historically represented in the NSA guidelines. It is our belief that these guides establish the latest best practices for securing the products and recommend that traditional customers of our security recommendations use the Apple guides when securing Macintosh OS X 10.4.x and Macintosh OS X Server 10.4.x.

Full article, with links to the NSA documents, here.

ZDNet’s Larry Dignan also extensively covers the story in his blog here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Another Irish Dude” for the heads up.]

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  1. The beginning of the end starts slow and builds speed.

    First one, then another and another news agency says VISTA is junk and only buy if you have to.

    Then one government agency after another says Vista purchases on hold and now they are starting to say the Mac software is good.

    Microsoft, welcome to the long slide down to obscurity. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. The key here – besides the obvious endorsement impact – is that Apple’s standard OS X 10.4 security is appropriate. No extra steps required. No extra software. No modifying the system, etc… Methinks the Windows “insecurity” experts out there will sit up and take notice of that salient fact.

  3. In contrast, the Department of Homeland Security has pushed Windows as their standard platform. Of course, many of us who work for the Feds know DHS is one of the most dysfunctional agencies we have. A recent survey of federal agencies rated them 35 or 36 out of 36 across a range of criteria. (Some of us opposed creation of DHS in the proposed form, expecting just such a result.) They’ve been through several CIOs. I don’t know if any have challenged the Windows orthodoxy there.

  4. George Ou is telling anyone who will listen that Apple is conducting an anti-security firm FUD campaign.

    If they are, it’s about time. The anti-Mac security FUD campaign the security firms have been waging has gone on long enough.

    Oh, and George, if you’re reading, the black hatters still haven’t broken into a new Mac out of the box. Anyone can hack their own computer, you idiot.

  5. The NSA also released a similar guide for OS X 10.3 Panther in late 2004.

    The news here is that the goverment guide seems to come out just as Apple is about to release the next version of OS X.

    Better late than never and all that, but they aren’t too fast off the mark. Especially since the differences between Panther and Tiger weren’t that large.

  6. @Raymond:

    I could not agree with you more. When will they ever learn. Just last Friday, I lost my outlook and my programs–you know, the one where all your programs are located from the start button.

    Yep, you guessed it, I work for DHS–under the USCG.

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