Kaspersky: Apple is 10 Years Behind Microsoft on Security

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Eugene KasperskyEugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab

Now that the Flashback trojan infection is being brought under control, users and security firms alike are beginning to evaluate Apple’s response to the outbreak. Augmenting his company’s statement last week that “Mac OS X Invulnerability is a Myth,” Kaspersky Lab co-founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky told Computer Business Review on Wednesday that Apple is “ten years behind Microsoft” on security 

Predicting that the recent exploits in Java are just the start of a new wave of high-profile attacks against Apple’s platforms, Mr. Kaspersky had strong words for the Cupertino company which, until recent months, has not had to address the type of large scale security issues that have plagued Microsoft platforms for decades. 

“I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security,” Mr. Kaspersky told CBR. “For many years I’ve been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It’s always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms.” 

He also argued that rising Mac market share means that OS X is now a viable target for cyber criminals, saying, “Cyber criminals have now recognized that Mac is an interesting area. Now we have more, it’s not just Flashback or Flashfake. Welcome to Microsoft’s world, Mac. It’s full of malware.”

Mr. Kapersky believes that despite the more secure foundation of OS X as compared to earlier versions of Windows, hackers and cyber criminals will still find a way to exploit the system and Apple will have to take a more aggressive and proactive stance on security in order to protect their users. 

“[Apple] will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago. They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software,” Mr. Kaspersky said.

Mr. Kaspersky heads Kaspersky Lab, a security firm that provides antivirus software for both Windows and Mac. While his company stands to profit from a potentially growing need for third-party antivirus software, the recent security outbreaks and Apple’s much criticized slow response indicate that Mr. Kaspersky’s comments cannot be entirely dismissed as opportunistic.

[via 9to5Mac

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14 Comments Leave Your Own

Ross Edwards

You mean like how iOS has been around for five years and doesn’t run unsigned code, and MS is only approaching that scenario with Windows RT that maybe possibly will come out this year?  Put a sock in it, Kaspersky.  You’ll get no secondary revenue stream here.

tampaappleman

This guy is on dope….

mark

How else do you sell useless, outdated bloatware security software.  Every virus I’ve EVER got was on a WinTel machine that was running the latest AntiVirus.  Useless. OSX is 10 years ahead.  They put out security updates without their even being a public problem.  Yes.  They are too quiet about how they deal with antivirus protection, but, I have never had a virus on one of my Macs.  I’m an I.T. guy that is always knees deep in both platforms.  And this Wintel industry is set up to fleece users & companies out of money in the name of “security”.  BS.  Show me a PC with antivirus software on it, and I’ll get it infected in an hour surfing the net.

aryugaetu

You know a company is having problems when the CEO plays the role of an “authority”.

Mr. Kaspersky, this is a very easy, unbiased, test: Take a piece of paper and make two columns. On the left, list all of the OSX viruses and malware, circling the ones that have made the news broadcasts. On the right, do the same for Windows. Go ahead, I’ll wait… there’s more paper in the printer if you don’t have room for the Microsoft list.

Next time, attach that list as a PDF to every article you write about the vulnerability of Macs.

Mr. Kaspersky is very scared. Windows is rapidly losing market share, especially in the home user market, where he makes most of his money. Businesses don’t buy his junkware, their IT techs (also scared li’l rats) just fix it themselves.

My Mac has been operating every day, about 12 hours per day, always online, with NO virus crapware. Not a hiccup. Tell me again why I should fall for your “Chicken Little” FUD.

craigf

Booga booga, Mr. Kaspersky!

I have three Macs that are on and online 24 hours a day. In the 20+ years I’ve had Macs I’ve never had a malware problem. Not one.

I’m retired now, from an IT job where I supported hundreds of online Macs used to publish two daily newspapers and driven by hundreds of users, many of whom were clueless about malware and security issues. Ever had a malware problem at work? Sure. Lots. Just never on the Macs, but frequently on Wintel machines used for boring biz work. Both platforms were locked down, our servers and network were monitored and email filtered. The PCs had mandatory intrusive commercial subscription anti-virus software installed and properly maintained but the Macs had no antivirus software. Still the PCs had regular problems and never the Macs.

Being a cautious kind of guy, I run free ClamXav anti-virus on my Macs (and Little Snitch so I’ll have an early warning if there’s ever a problem). I have a Flash blocker and have Java turned off.

Has ClamXav ever detected anything? Yes. The only thing it has ever found is phishing emails I’d already recognized and trashed.

Am I scared? No. Am I informed and sensible? Yes.

Do I think Apple could and should do a better job with security? Yes, I think Apple should be the best of the best in every area and eagerly await the day.

xmattingly

Not entirely dismissible, but very plainly opportunistic.

MO: “I have a product to sell. Make a hyperbolic case against the platform with which I would like to sell more of my product for.”

xmattingly

In the 20+ years I?ve had Macs I?ve never had a malware problem. Not one.

I’ve been using Macs for about 15 years. I did pick up a trojan horse once… but that was over a decade ago on either OS 8 or 9.

Neil Anderson

Follow the money…

b9bot

Then why is it that Microsoft is always getting hacked and shutdown and have put companies in a big hurt as thousands of computers are brought down to there knees.
Yet have you heard of this happening with Macs?
No.
So who’s behind in security?
Come on, common sense will tell you Apple is in another league and on top of its game. Microsoft pretends, still wants to be open and gets in trouble all of the time with businesses crashing computers because of malware and viruses.
Why do you think Mac sales are so high these days. People are tired of having to run anti-malware and virus programs all day on there PC’s. Only to get infected anyways and there PC’s die!!!
Kaspersky is trying the old FUD scaring game to draw in more business for themselves. Keep trying, this lie isn’t going to work though.

Gareth Harris

Old cowboy sayin’ : Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

Garion

Here’s a myth for you, mr. Kaspersky: You have to buy expensive antivirus software to keep your Mac safe.

Paul Goodwin

Hahaha. He is on dope. The last Mac virus I got was in the early 90s .... Got in on a floppy. Last virus protection software purchase was about 1994. Not a single malicious event since about 1992 with no protection other than what the Mac OS has built in.

ShockerX

What is humerous is my company just dropped support for all Android devices and required the use of iPhones because of security concerns!

moxtr

I am a 56 year old fanboy myself but I definitely think he has a valid point. Apple was way to slow with their Java patch.

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