Columnist: Mac Only More Secure Due to Obscurity

Mac OS X is only more secure than Windows due to its low market share, according to ZDNet Australiais Patrick Gray. An issue that has been raised time and again by Windows apologists over the years, Mr. Grayis column on the subject differs somewhat in that he is an avowed and happy Mac user.

"Thereis only one thing that makes Macs substantially safer than PCs," wrote Mr. Gray, "and itis called market share; a 3.8 percent market share, measured by net presence, to be precise. If Macs were the dominant operating system with, say, 80 percent of the market, there is no doubt all the clever malware writers would devote their skills to engineering malware for Macs, not Windows-based PCs."

He added, "With all that brainpower going into compromising an operating system, there is little doubt the efforts would yield results."

Mr. Gray also attacked Appleis advertising for implying that Macs are invulnerable to malware and viruses, though he didnit back up that attack up with any evidence to the contrary. Indeed, his premise is that there are many exploits and vulnerabilities waiting to be discovered, and that itis time for Apple to be less cocky about it.

Itis long been accepted by many in the industry that Mac OS X would attract more attention from the bad guys if Apple had a larger share of the market; but itis also widely accepted that Mac OS Xis Unix roots mean that its foundations are tried, true, and tested. Itis also a fact that there are no known viruses or malware for the OS in the wild.