Get a Mac: Microsoft’s Windows’ swiss cheese insecurity costs $100 billion annually

John Markoff reports for The New York Times, “Internet security is broken, and nobody seems to know quite how to fix it.”

MacDailyNews Take: We do.

Markoff continues, “Despite the efforts of the computer security industry and a half-decade struggle by Microsoft to protect its Windows operating system, malicious software is spreading faster than ever. The so-called malware surreptitiously takes over a PC and then uses that computer to spread more malware to other machines exponentially. Computer scientists and security researchers acknowledge they cannot get ahead of the onslaught.”

“As more business and social life has moved onto the Web, criminals thriving on an underground economy of credit card thefts, bank fraud and other scams rob computer users of an estimated $100 billion a year, according to a conservative estimate by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,” Markoff reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Geez, with that kind of money, we could bail out the U.S. automakers quarterly.

Markoff continues, “For now, Apple’s Macintosh computers are more or less exempt from the attacks, but researchers expect Apple machines to become a larger target as their market share grows.”

Full article here.

Ah, yes, the typical Stockholm Syndrome/Cognitive Dissonance-afflicted myth recitation from the Windows sufferers. Larger target does not necessarily equal more hits.

Once again, it is utterly illogical to imply that the Mac platform is secure via obscurity. Why, if obscurity means security, in April 2007 was there a virus for iPods running Linux (a few thousand devices total, to wildly overestimate, in all the world), but there are no viruses in 7+ years for the over 30 million Mac OS X computers that are currently online? And, why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world?

We’ve asked those and similar questions for years, yet the silence remains deafening and telling.

Simple logic is certainly not what AV software peddlers, Windows PC box assemblers, and the rest of the leeches affixed to the Windows ecosystem want people to hear. Fear is what they’re after. The sheep must be kept in the Windows pen, no matter the cost to reputations, reality, productivity, sanity, etc. Far too many have far too much invested in Microsoft Windows for them to stand idly by and let it all slip away due to a vastly superior, vastly more secure solution from Apple. But slip away it does nonetheless.

The idea that Windows’ morass of security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no security problems because fewer people use Macs, is simply not true. 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, Markoff’s colleague, The New York Times’ David Pogue, provides a concise mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.

“Security via Obscurity” is a defense mechanism for the delusional and also tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from Windows; to be used when attempting keep the sheep in the pen. 30 million Mac OS X installs is not “obscure” at all, but over seven (7+) years of Mac users surfing the Net unimpeded certainly is “secure.” Besides social engineering scams (phishing, trojans; no OS can instill common sense) the only thing by which Mac users are really affected are large swaths of compromised Windows machines slowing down the ‘Net with spam and nefarious botnet traffic targeted at exploiting even more insecure Windows boxes.

The. Problem. Is. Windows. Get a Mac.

40 Comments

  1. Even if you accept that OS X might suffer from a few, but nowhere near as many as the thousands or even millions of security problems that Windows has, I’m pretty sure that if Apple were given $100 billion a year they’d not only eradicate them but we’d probably also be living on Mars within a decade and have those flying cars that they’ve been promising for a while. Oh and there would likely be peace on Earth.

  2. Windows users need a massive bailout.

    Congress should nationalize Apple and give all PC users a free copy of Mac OS X.

    This is the same philosophy being applied to banks and car makers, so why not Apple to some this “national problem?”

  3. Geez, with that kind of money, we could bail out the U.S. automakers quarterly.

    The auto industry needs to straighten itself out. If some big names collapse then so be it.

    “As more business and social life has moved onto the Web, criminals thriving on an underground economy of credit card thefts, bank fraud and other scams rob computer users of an estimated $100 billion a year

    Which means that $100 billion only counts direct theft?!?! What’s the indirect cost of baby sitting, lost productivity and general fidddle-fsking around?

    Yes, that kind of money could certainly be put to much better uses.

  4. One of the tech guys in my district turns his nose up every time I point out that we should switch from Windows machines to Macs. “They’re way too expensive,” he argues. Meanwhile, we re-image every new machine to “downgrade” from Vista to Windows, and we’re having to re-image machines left and right because of malware, even more so this school year since we switched from a Novell network to a Windows network.

    That same guy had the nerve to tell me a couple weeks ago how he and his son spent an entire weekend wiping and re-configuring his own home machines because they had a virus which, much to his dismay, he finally discovered was residing on his wireless router, so every time he wiped a machine, the virus magically reappeared. That’s a weekend he’ll never get back.

    I’ve been using OS X since version 2 on three machines with no malware protection without a minute lost to malware. Now, which machines are too expensive?

  5. This is the same philosophy being applied to banks and car makers, so why not Apple to some this “national problem?”

    Because Apple is profitable, and doesn’t have enough presence on government computers. Apple-board member Al Gore may or may not make up for these….

    Expect different, however, when Ballmer runs MS into bankruptcy, and runs to Congress with a FUD campaign declaring “90% of the world’s computers will stop working if MS goes under!!”.

    Of course everyone here knows better, but the idiots on Capitol Hill will cave without a fight.

  6. “And, why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world?”

    It’s because Mac users are better looking than the average PC user, and criminals don’t like upsetting attractive people. It goes against their ideals.

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