The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
C|Net: Mac Security Not About the OS Anymore

C|Net: Mac Security Not About the OS Anymore

by , 2:10 PM EDT, April 9th, 2008

Security researchers have never identified any instance in the wild in which a Mac has been exploited from the Internet, according to C|Net on Wednesday. That's despite a recent incident in which a well crafted Website was used to exploit a flaw in Safari. As a result, exploitation techniques have moved from attacking the OS directly to tricking the user.

Tom Krazit, at the RSA conference, took some time to characterize the state of PC security and surmised that it's no longer about which OS is more secure. It's more about economics and social engineering. Because the PC still has vastly dominant market share, the business case for attacking PCs remains favorable.

"Even if Apple moved to 10 percent market share, why spend the time on the 10 percent when you can just nail 90 percent with one bug?" Charlie Miller pointed out.

Mr. Miller took control of a MacBook Air at CanSecWest conference's "Pwn to Own" contest, but it required a specialized exploit that a user would normally never come across. In the earlier part of the contest, the MacBook was immune from attacks restricted to network attacks from the outside.

As a result of this increase OS security by all vendors, thieves are turning to more devious techniques that depend on tricking the uninformed or naive users, especially those who have become accustomed to entering credit card numbers online.

The fastest way to make money in the Internet remains the infamous Nigerian 419 e-mail, Mr. Krazit reported. Given that, it isn't surprising that many PC users thought that the iTunes update in Windows offering them Safari was mandatory.

In the end, the OS battle to see who has the best security pales in comparison to the educational challenge for ordinary computer users who are spending more and more time on the Internet.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated June 26th

Fri, 5:06 PM
’Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Star Moses Ingram to Join Cast of Apple TV+ Series ‘Lady in the Lake’
Fri, 4:31 PM
Chris Evans Stuns the Internet By Upgrading His iPhone 6
Fri, 4:12 PM
Leaks Suggest Next AirPods Pro to Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More
Fri, 3:06 PM
Rumors Suggest Apple to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/MR Headset January 2023
Fri, 3:05 PM
Apple’s Back to School Promo Could Score You a $150 Gift Card
Fri, 2:21 PM
Apple-1 'Byte Shop' Model Goes for $375,000 at Thursday Auction
Fri, 1:22 PM
Code in iOS 16 Betas Hint at New Siri Remote for Apple TV
Fri, 8:32 AM
Apple’s Long Game in Mobile and Portable Computing; Choice and Versatility
Fri, 7:32 AM
Apple Music Student Plan Gets a Price Increase in US, UK and Canada
Fri, 7:03 AM
Google Chrome on iOS Gets Five New Features
Thu, 5:40 PM
Using Measurement Conversions in iOS 16
Thu, 4:37 PM
Apple TV+ Series 'Trying' Reveals Season 3 Trailer Before July Premiere
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!