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Report says Mac OS X not as secure as Windows XP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 24 Mar 2007 22:03 User comments (22)

Report says Mac OS X not as secure as Windows XP In Symantec's newly-published Internet Securtiy Threat Report, which covers the period of July 2006 to January 2007, it appears that the Mac OS X is less secure than Windows XP.
According to the report, Microsoft took an average of 3 weeks to develop a patch after a vulnerability was reported. This turnaround was faster than Sun, HP, Red Hat and Apple although it was slower than their 13 day turnaround for the patches in the first 6 months of 2006.

Apple, during the same period, took an average of 66 days to patch vulnerabilities. This was also a slowdown from the first 6 months of 2006 in which their turnaround was 37 days.

Moving into web browsers, Internet Explorer was reported as having 54 vulnerabilities while Mac's Safari had 40. However, Microsoft patched its browser vulnerabilites in an average of 10 days, while it took Apple 62 days to patch their default browser vulnerabilities. Symantec did however explain that those stats were "skewed by a smaller sample set of patched vulnerabilities and exploits."

Source:
PCPro

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22 user comments

124.3.2007 22:59

what i would like to know is what were there the attack racios from attacks made on each of the OS while those vulnaribilities were present.

i think that makes sense lol

SmeeZus

225.3.2007 4:04

yes, Report doesn't tell how critical vulnerabilities was :D We all know how the things goes in real world...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Mar 2007 @ 4:05

325.3.2007 6:15

MS propaganda maybe?
face it XP is a siv......

425.3.2007 8:41

What a worthless article :P

Sure, there might be inconsistincies in the software, and joe blow might experience the random Safari crash, but please, I haven't seen anyone use Safari to execute malicious code, have you? On the other hand, everyone and their brother can easily receive attacks through Internet Explorer on XP,such as virii, spyware, etc. Where's this on the Mac? :P

And there was what, one case with Quicktime?

Sheesh, all their saying is how long each company took to develop a patch. Microsoft had to develop a patch quickly because if they didn't everyone could possibly be screwed because of a bad attack on some major, major security flaw. Apple could take their time because yeah, there was a flaw, but it wasn't an urgency that it needed to be fixed ASAP.

Definitely Microsuck Propaganda.

Like I said, worthless article.

525.3.2007 8:45

Some things never change it would seem. An article is written about how Mac OS has security flaws and somehow it must be "MS propaganda". When are people going to realize that EVERY piece of software has security flaws but it is and always will be the software apps that are out there the most receiving the most attacts. It doesn't make sense for an attacker to go after an OS or other piece of software that less than 5% of the computer world uses. That would be like a terrorist using chemical warfare to only harm less than 5% of the population. I guarantee you if the opposite was true and Mac OS had 90% of the desktop market they would be the ones being attacked and pulled apart day in and day out and all their vulnerabilities would come out. But since no one gives a crap about Mac OS because attacking it does not harm the computer world people tend to leave it alone. So it is more like a false sense of security. Kind of like leaving your doors unlocked in a safe neighborhood because no one will bother you. Of course over the past couple years Macs have gained popularity and now we are seeing more attacks against them and this has the Mac heads scared so they get all defensive and call it MS Propoganda.

625.3.2007 9:55

bobiroc
you make a good point,however I still want to see the level of risk on the mac stuff,MSs are pretty big and all over the place,I have no doubt macs got issues but they are more likely on a smaller scale since the OS is built differently.

725.3.2007 16:28

Then again, look at it from a hackerís perspective. If you wanted to take down / control as many machines as possible, would you go for Windows, Linux, or Mac OS?

This is just like marketing, you advertise to the highest common denominator. In this case, it happens to be Windows.

Iím sure that Linux and Mac have just as many if not more vulnerabilities than Windows, but because entry points are not tried on a daily basis, they havenít been discovered.

825.3.2007 16:46

This kind of information does not suprise me at all. I would expect to see more security issues than Windows. Yes, I said that correctly. Check a real security site if you want to see who is secure and who is not. Stop reading all the Linux and Mac OS propaganda. Most of the people who write that crap are so full of it. Lets face it, Macs are for idiots who don't know how to use a real computer, and Linux is only semi-safe behind a hardware firewall for mundane tasks. Quit listening to all the garbage out there written by people who know nothing about the OS's and learn for yourself. It's sad that everyone thinks OS X and Linux are safe just because the media has generated a bad image of Microsoft, so everyone believe all the bad about Microsoft and the good about everything else. Use your critical thinking skills people. I know Windows has flaws, and I am safer for that. Can you accept the Linux and OS X have flaws. There are a lot of people who cannot. I pity them.

Anyway...Linux will never have a large market share because real IT people know the truth about Linux and don't read all the made up garbage out there, and Mac's will always have a small market share since 80% of Mac owners switch to a Windows based system within 2 years once they learn how to use a computer.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Mar 2007 @ 13:11

My NTFS just ate your Fat32.

925.3.2007 16:59

Thank you for this post. I am glad to see someone realizes the reality of computing. There is just so much damn Linux and Mac propaganda out there. It's hard as hell to try to convince the executives at work that Linux is not safer or cheaper. Everyone reads all the propaganda as truth, and then when real information is presented to them, they call it propaganda. What a world of idiots we live in. Everyone believes everything they read and does not find the facts for themselves.

Originally posted by Unfocused:
Then again, look at it from a hackerís perspective. If you wanted to take down / control as many machines as possible, would you go for Windows, Linux, or Mac OS?

This is just like marketing, you advertise to the highest common denominator. In this case, it happens to be Windows.

Iím sure that Linux and Mac have just as many if not more vulnerabilities than Windows, but because entry points are not tried on a daily basis, they havenít been discovered.

1025.3.2007 17:38
Apathy0
Inactive

I can't wait for the day when a few hackers decide to exploit Mac OSX.

1125.3.2007 17:51

Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote quit listening to all the garbage out there. The Mac OS is not built on Linux. Mac OS X is based on Unix which has been around since 1969. So now you can tell us how Windows is superior to that dinosaur Unix. Do some more research before writing things which have no basis in fact.

Originally posted by quip:
Seeing how OS X is built on Linux, I would expect to see more security issues than Windows. Yes, I said that correctly. Quit listening to all the garbage out there written by people who know nothing about the OS's and learn for yourself.

1226.3.2007 9:54

Originally posted by quip:
Quit listening to all the garbage out there written by people who know nothing about the OS's and learn for yourself.

oh, you mean garbage like this?
Originally posted by quip:
Lets face it, Macs are for idiots who don't know how to use a real computer

sorry, but that was a really stupid statement
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Mar 2007 @ 9:55

1326.3.2007 13:02

I stand corrected, only my mistake in writing the post to quickly. Sorry, but my mistake was only a mistype. You are correct, OS X is built on BSD with Darwin built around BSD and FreeBSD 5. You make an interesting rhetoric about Unix. What do you expect me to say about it? Unlike Linux or Macs (except when being used for graphics or sound editing.) Unix has its place in the IT world. Unix should never be compared to Windows and vice versa for reasons you would never understand. Windows runs on over 90% of the worlds computers and servers. Linux and Mac have almost 5% combined. Tell me, if Linux or Mac OS are sooooo good, secure, and great as servers, why doesnít anyone use them? I guess in your opinion millions of IT people made the wrong decision by choosing to deploy Windows based Servers and Clients. Linux is a craze that will die back to what it was in pre 1998, and Macs will be running Windows within 5 years...oh wait...people are already running Windows on Macs..LOL..(bootcamp, ect. cough cough).But I can guarantee they will give up on the OS just like the hardware and focus on the look of their machines. I don't have to prove Windows superiority over other operating systems, the world has already done it for me. There is no other OS worthy of being called competition. The sheer volume of Windows based systems speaks for the IT community. Now go back to your job at Hardee's and make me a cheeseburger, because I doubt you work an IT related job.

Quote:
Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote quit listening to all the garbage out there. The Mac OS is not built on Linux. Mac OS X is based on Unix which has been around since 1969. So now you can tell us how Windows is superior to that dinosaur Unix. Do some more research before writing things which have no basis in fact.

1426.3.2007 14:55

I've administered all major OS' - Fedora/Red Hat, BSD, DOS, Windows 3.1 - XP, Mac, etc. and this is what I've found:

Linux/unix is still superior in most respects to Windows or anything else for the server market. The problem is, it is not a good desktop system for the average idiot due to the lack of a decent GUI and integration. Greatly compounding the problem is the lack of consistent software installation/uninstallation procedures (most average folks won't put up with configure/make/make install) and the nature of the linux community itself: Linux developers and users alike seem to be more interested in dazzling others with their impressive knowledge of computers than making things easy for the average Joe or Jane to understand.

With that said, Linux does have potential if the Linux community can get their s--t together. Macs, while they had some hardware advantages early on, have no advantage today and are little more than cute toys. And, as another posted pointed out, Macs, like Linux OS' do not constitute enough market share to make them worth of attention of hackers, although at least Linux machines are at least potentially since they are often servers.

Windows, and I've been telling people for years, is actually a pretty secure OS, if you're talking about the OS ITSELF! I'd prefer to run my IDS boxes on Windows rather than Linux as it's easier to harden a Windows machine (although I don't because of software limitations). It's the high-level Microsoft applications that are garbage. Internet Explorer is probably the most insecure piece of software ever written. Microsoft does things that, from a security standpoint, leaves one to hold their head and wonder, 'What the f--k where they THINKING?!' What idiot thought allowing sites to download and run un-sandboxed ActiveX was a good idea? Even the folks at Sun had enough brains to sandbox Java! And this lack of sense is typical of Microsoft.

Pardon me for being a big skeptical, but Microsoft's sudden interest in security clearly has a lot less to do with making people safer, and much more to do with making money. Trustworthy Computing environments like Vista are designed to eventually restrict software being run only to authorized, certificated software. Unfortunately, while the big names like Microsoft can afford certificates, freeware and open-source developers cannot. The only good news is that restrictions like this may well piss off the public if it's made default or mandatory.

Personally, I'd sooner go with a Mac than be stuck with garbage like Vista, and if Vista ever becomes mandatory, I will be leaving the Windows realm for my typical office operations. Which is a shame, because I do feel Windows to be the best out of the three major OS branches at this time.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Mar 2007 @ 15:17

-Do you believe you own your computer and shouldn't be told what you can run and do? Then say *NO* to Microsoft Vista!
-Since half the questions here involve media problems, here ya go: Only use Verbatim or Taiyo-Yuden discs (get your TYs from Rima.com, not Supermediastore or meritline). Forget the rest, no matter what "brand" they sell under. Always burn at 4x speed regardless of the speed rating of this discs or your drive. If you have burn problems with these then you have to update your drive's firmware. For double-layer discs, only use Verbatim DVD+R DL and burn them at 2.4x speed.

1526.3.2007 16:11

Dunker,

I can partially agree with your statement "Linux/Unix is still superior in most respects to Windows or anything else for the server market." I also have my disagreements.

What it really boils down to, is what one is trying to be achieve. Linux makes a great server only under the right conditions and in the right applications. I would have much more respect for Linux if as you stated "the Linux community can get their s--t together."

If I am going to set up a cluster, I want it to be self-healing and maintain itself with little user intervention. Linux solutions cannot provide that at this time. (Not to mention deployment/configuration time.)

While Linux has some great ideas for Domain administration, I still feel WSAD is far superior. Just about every aspect of the network can be managed through one counsel, and it is simple enough for a 12 year old to administer.

Database Servers are very sub par unless oracle is used. I will stick with DB2 and Microsoft SQL; they are robust, stable, and secure.

A lot of what it comes down to I guess is that much less time is spent maintaining and administering a Windows Server than Linux.

I like you am upset with the new licensing with Vista. It is upsetting to know that I cannot change a MB without purchasing a new license.

As far as the certificates for installing software, rest assured that it is only a feature to allow the bypass of UAC. It will be very similar to a secure HTTP site; you can choose to enter the site knowing the certificate is invalid. It will be the same for installing or running software. You will be required to supply Admin credentials to run/install if a valid certification is not issued.

I know that the last 2 paragraphs may not change your opinion of Vista, but you cannot deny the improvements made to the OS. I admit that Microsoft has been lax at times in certain areas, but less so then most people believe. I truly believe that Microsoft has gotten it right this time. (Licensing aside.)


Originally posted by Dunker:
I've administered all major OS' - Fedora/Red Hat, BSD, DOS, Windows 3.1 - XP, Mac, etc. and this is what I've found:

Linux/unix is still superior in most respects to Windows or anything else for the server market.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Mar 2007 @ 18:30

My NTFS just ate your Fat32.

1626.3.2007 17:37

Quip,

Based on your logic McDonald's in the best restaurant in the world because of their volume, billions and billions served. Market penetration doesn't make one product superior to another. Also, Macs can run Windows now so why wait 5 years. Based on what you wrote, you must not work in IT either. You're very opinionated, but your opinions aren't based on logic, experience or fact. BTW, what's wrong with Hardees? It appears that you buy your opinions there. If you left you cubicle once in awhile, you might realize that there are other things in life other than debating which platform is superior. When you perform security or vulnerability studies based on something other than opinion, let us know. Until then, go back to your cubicle. Each platform has its' benefits and deficiencies, only dogmatists insist otherwise.

Quote:
I stand corrected, only my mistake in writing the post to quickly. Sorry, but my mistake was only a mistype. You are correct, OS X is built on BSD with Darwin built around BSD and FreeBSD 5. You make an interesting rhetoric about Unix. What do you expect me to say about it? Unlike Linux or Macs (except when being used for graphics or sound editing.) Unix has its place in the IT world. Unix should never be compared to Windows and vice versa for reasons you would never understand. Windows runs on over 90% of the worlds computers and servers. Linux and Mac have almost 5% combined. Tell me, if Linux or Mac OS are sooooo good, secure, and great as servers, why doesnít anyone use them? I guess in your opinion millions of IT people made the wrong decision by choosing to deploy Windows based Servers and Clients. Linux is a craze that will die back to what it was in pre 1998, and Macs will be running Windows within 5 years...oh wait...people are already running Windows on Macs..LOL..(bootcamp, ect. cough cough).But I can guarantee they will give up on the OS just like the hardware and focus on the look of their machines. I don't have to prove Windows superiority over other operating systems, the world has already done it for me. There is no other OS worthy of being called competition. The sheer volume of Windows based systems speaks for the IT community. Now go back to your job at Hardee's and make me a cheeseburger, because I doubt you work an IT related job.

[quote]Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote quit listening to all the garbage out there. The Mac OS is not built on Linux. Mac OS X is based on Unix which has been around since 1969. So now you can tell us how Windows is superior to that dinosaur Unix. Do some more research before writing things which have no basis in fact.
[/quote]

1726.3.2007 18:26

nodiceson,

Obviously you did not read the post or you would have seen my comment "people are already running Windows on Macs..LOL..(bootcamp, ect. cough cough)"

I have no further comments for you.

Quote:
Also, Macs can run Windows now so why wait 5 years.

"I don't have an anger problem. I have an Idiot problem. Stupid people p*ss me off."

1826.3.2007 18:34

quip
dual booting is bulky and pointless at best you could run a real windose machine cheaper than going threw the trouble of buying MAC hardware ,if you use a VRM of windose you get the same problem only the OS is even more limited because of the VR drivers.


you are better off picking one over the other unless you need allot from both then you might as well get 2 machines and a KN/M switch.

1926.3.2007 18:55

I agree, I mearly find it interesting and humorus that someone would purchase a Mac, and then go through the trouble of loading Windows on it. Same as with Linux. As you point out, someone would be better off the purchase a KVM switch and run two seperate machines. Hmmmm...I guess I got a little upset eairler about some of the comments...I guess it just upsets me that people are in denial about the security of their OS, and because of that denial they feel their OS is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
quip
dual booting is bulky and pointless at best you could run a real windose machine cheaper than going threw the trouble of buying MAC hardware ,if you use a VRM of windose you get the same problem only the OS is even more limited because of the VR drivers.


you are better off picking one over the other unless you need allot from both then you might as well get 2 machines and a KN/M switch.

2026.3.2007 19:06

quip
NP soemtiems the forums bring out the arse in us ^^


I am really looking forward to the day MS or someone makes a 3D driver for WVRM(Windose Virtual machine) when that happens I can fianly emulate all my games properly within whatever windose flavor of the decade crops up and still have access to all my old stuff with 3D support.

2127.3.2007 11:32

Quote:
I know that the last 2 paragraphs may not change your opinion of Vista, but you cannot deny the improvements made to the OS. I admit that Microsoft has been lax at times in certain areas, but less so then most people believe. I truly believe that Microsoft has gotten it right this time. (Licensing aside.)
I do deny Vista improved anything; if anything, it is a major step backward, certainly for consumer and general desktop use. Microsoft has not hardened the OS i.e. the entry points for malware; all they have done is tightened up the kernel. Had Microsoft followed the Protected Mode architecture as Intel had designed it all the way back in the 80286, and designed Windows 3.x or Windows 95 accordingly, buffer and heap-based overflows wouldn't exist because the original 286 architecture used a segmented memory model that prevents code execution in data or stack space. Microsoft STILL could have taken advantage of this model in any of their later OS' rather than sticking to the flat memory model which allows this to happen. (In fairness, though, Windows isn't the only OS that uses a flat memory model, so M$ isn't the only one to blame.)

From a more practical standpoint, the UAC controls are more likely to piss people off and force them to either disable the feature or run an admin-level account just to do their day-to-day tasks. While a software-authentication mechanism could work in a business environment under the just the right circumstances, it creates far too much difficulty for consumers as well as unsophisticated business users. People (and IT departments) aren't going to have to switch to an Admin account every time a piece of software needs to be added, updated, or run. So, many are simply going to run as Admin all the time. We know most people do that now anyway, but at least current "limited" accounts now allow you to do most of the things you would normally want to do; think of how many people are going to be running as Admins once they find their software won't work in a limited account.

On top of everything else, many kinds of software are self-updating e.g. Firefox. If software is not allowed to update itself, then users will be running around with old, insecure versions of software, riddled with known exploits.

Of course, competitively-speaking, this obviously works in Microsoft's favor.

-Do you believe you own your computer and shouldn't be told what you can run and do? Then say *NO* to Microsoft Vista!
-Since half the questions here involve media problems, here ya go: Only use Verbatim or Taiyo-Yuden discs (get your TYs from Rima.com, not Supermediastore or meritline). Forget the rest, no matter what "brand" they sell under. Always burn at 4x speed regardless of the speed rating of this discs or your drive. If you have burn problems with these then you have to update your drive's firmware. For double-layer discs, only use Verbatim DVD+R DL and burn them at 2.4x speed.

2231.3.2007 20:27
Hacker06
Inactive

LONG LIVE MAC OS

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