Symantec blasts Mac OS X security

December 21, 2007

Symantec blasts Mac OS X securityMost Mac owners are quite content with the security that accompanies each copy of OS X.  Symantec, provider of various protective software services, claims that OS X is just as vulnerable to attacks, and the same kind of attacks, as Windows.

Maybe that’s just because Symantec is bitter that it can’t spread its unnecessary software clutter to another needy operating system; nonetheless, in a recent article on CIO, Symantec representative Ollie Whitehouse said, “…researchers have demonstrated that the potential for susceptibility to the same types of flaws which have plagued Microsoft Windows for so many years does exist to the same extent.”  

Ollie, as I will call him because I like that name, goes on to warn users about the dangers of cross-platform infection; though no such cases exist, Ollie hypothesizes that it won’t be too long before instances of Windows running simultaneously with OS X could lead to a cross-platform infection.

Let’s take a look at his doomsday predictions:  First, it has been widely known that OS X doesn’t receive the attention that Windows does, and therefore hackers don’t try to hack it quite as much.  Tell me something I don’t know.  Though Macs are on the rise, it isn’t anywhere near eclipsing the share that Windows holds, and until that time, exploits for Mac will remain few.Furthermore, it is also known that, when running virtualization software, there is a chance that the partitioned Windows segment can receive infection.  However, instead of telling you to wait breathlessly for your infection, I would recommend finding a few nice cross-platform open source alternatives to your Windows-based programs so you can delete the malware that is Windows entirely from your Mac.

There you have it:  Macs might not be secure, but no hackers care enough right now to ruin everyone’s good time.  Someday you might end up hurt because you decided to dual-boot Windows with OS X.  Now that we are all no better off from our learning experience, let’s return to using OS X in peace.  

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5 Responses to “Symantec blasts Mac OS X security”

  1. Cross-platform:

    The guy from Symantec is just wrong. Since Mac OS X doesn’t run in administrative mode, and due to the lack of Internet Explorer, and due to the fact that programs don’t run without the user’s choosing, among many other things, Mac OS X is NOT NEARLY as vulnerable to the attacks that Windows computers see. Also, viruses can’t spread nearly as well among Mac computers as they can for Windows. Just look at those write-a-mac-virus contestants or hackers who have tried to hack a Mac. They have found it very difficult to impossible. The claim from Symantec comes from a biased source and is completely unfounded.

    But they should know something about malware, right? They know how to make a program that is impossible to remove from the computer. I bet my Windows XP computer suffered more from Norton Internet Security than it would have from malware, prompting me to format my HD and re-install Windows, this time using Trend Micro.

  2. landsw:

    I’m so tired of this argument.
    According to one security expert its’ baloney…

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/16/windowsstyle_security_hell_stalks_mac/

  3. Ken:

    This is such crap, you have to wonder how much longer it’ll take for Peter Norton to go postal at Symantec for wreaking his good name.

  4. Joe:

    So, what’s a good “cross-platform open source” application for the Mac that I could find/install/use?

  5. Lex:

    the only thing people need to do is stop using virtual machines to run win and start finding alternatives to their beloved win apps (e.g. quicktime isn’t that good at playing movies, codecs are hard to find and even the ones you have tend to give you a hard time??? switch to VLC for mac)

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