“Friday’s release of the new version of the Mac OS, dubbed Snow Leopard, could include some security features that would make it secure, or at least push it closer to the level of security that Vista and Windows 7 have, experts said this week,” Elinor Mills blathers for CNET.
MacDailyNews Take: What, Apple’s dumping the Mac OS X kernel, adding a fargin’ Registry, and opening ports at random in Snow Leopard? Give us a break, Ellie, you sound like an idiot.
Mills continues, “Contrary to popular Mac fanboy belief, Macintosh is not more secure from a software standpoint than modern Windows; it’s merely safer to use because malware writers prefer to target the platform with the biggest install base, according to Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi, co-authors of The Mac Hacker’s Handbook, which came out this spring.”
MacDailyNews Take: “Mac fanboy belief?” The idiocy abounds. So, the so-called “experts” Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi wrote a book. So has Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. When these self-proclaimed “experts” Miller and Dai Zovi come up with a self-propagating Mac OS X virus, give us a call. Until then, they should stick their endless FUD where the sun don’t shine.
Our firewalls are off: Bring it on, boys. Oh, what’s that, all of your “expert” exploits require physical access to our Macs? Or you need us to go to a special URL without having installed the last three Mac OS X updates? So, do you want our Admin passwords, too, or should we just enable root for you? Miller and Dai Zovi are the Victor Lustigs of security experts. Fuzz that, fuzzers. Ellie’s just another mark or willing accomplice.
Update: August 29, 2009, 12:23am EDT: This article was originally posted on August 27, 2009 at 11:48am. We’re still here. Our firewalls are still off and we’re still online with impunity.
Update: September 1, 2009, 3:09pm EDT: Yes, you guessed it, we’re still waiting. Our firewalls remain off. Some experts.
Yet again — sigh — it is utterly illogical to state or 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 nine, yes nine, years for the over 30 million Mac OS X computers that are currently online? When we hit a nice round virus-free decade will these morons finally STFU? 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. Instead we get a steady stream of lies and/or ignorance, CNET’s specialty.
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, The New York Times’ David Pogue, provides a concise mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.
Simple logic is certainly not what AV software peddlers, Windows PC box assemblers, and 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.
Every single time there is a Windows virus outbreak or a new OS release, the “Security Via Obscurity” myth gets trotted out. This is done for a reason, even though it gets more ridiculous with each passing year.
“Security via Obscurity” is a defense mechanism for the delusional and also tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from the Windows economy (see: the bulk of CNET’s ads) that’s designed to be used when attempting keep Windows sufferers from straying. 30 million Mac OS X installs is not “obscure” at all, but nine (9) 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.
Mills continues breathlessly, “A screen shot published on the Mac Security Blog of Intego on Tuesday appears to show a security feature supposedly in Snow Leopard that looks like it is detecting a Trojan in a disk image being downloaded via Safari. The post cites unnamed reports about an anti-malware feature being added. ‘If it’s true, it will mark a fundamental change in that Apple will be admitting that their operating system is as susceptible to malware as other operating systems,’ Miller said.”
MacDailyNews Take: Charlie Miller, bullshit artist. In the sidebar of his otherwise uninteresting review of Snow Leopard, USA Today’s Ed Baig reports, “Macs are known for being resistant to PC viruses, a selling point in Apple ads. So reports from the Intego security software firm about an anti-malware feature in Snow Leopard raised eyebrows… Apple says Snow Leopard merely enhances the ‘File Quarantine’ technology, introduced in Mac OS X Tiger [emphasis added by MDN], for detecting malware. It works with files downloaded in Safari, iChat and Mail; if malware is detected, Snow Leopard suggests you move the file to Trash. Through the Mac’s Software Update technology, Apple has the ability to add the ‘signatures’ of new malware as it learns about them, potentially avoidng spreading malicious code.”
Mills continues spewing FUD in her full hit-piece – Think Before You Click™ – here.
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