The rivalry between Apple and Microsoft fanboys has not been going on for as long as some rivalries such as the rivalry between Puma and Adidas which not only split a family, but a whole town. Adolf “Adi” Dassler and Rudolf Dassler split their family business and setup up rival companies in the same town, Adidas and Puma, when they fell out after WWII. However, the war between mac and microsoft boys has been a good one over the last decade or so.
One of the most often used superiority claims that Apple users utilise against Windows is the apparent additional security that Apple Snow Leopard offers over Windows 7. However, security experts have chipped away at the myth that macs are more secure than PCs. These include a key mac hacker who has pointed out a key feature that makes Snow Leopard less secure than Windows 7.
Charlie Miller the winner of two consecutive hacking contests has highlighted that Snow Leopard’s ASLR (address space layout randomization), a security technology that randomly assigns data to memory to make it tougher for attackers to determine the location of critical operating system functions, is vulnerable . He claims that unlike Windows 7, which features robust ASLR, Snow Leopard’s ASLR is half-baked.
“I hoped Snow Leopard would do full ASLR, but it doesn’t,” said Miller. “I don’t understand why they didn’t. But Apple missed an opportunity with Snow Leopard.”
Charlie claims that Snow Leopard does not properly randomize the heap, the stack and the dynamic linker, the part of Snow Leopard that links multiple shared libraries for an executable, making it easier to attack Snow Leopard via memory injection than Windows 7.
So why aren’t macs attacked more? Charlie backs my theory that because the mac userbase is too small and that hackers can profit more from writing successful PC exploits:
“It’s harder to write exploits for Windows than the Mac, but all you see are Windows exploits. That’s because if [the hacker] can hit 90% of the machines out there, that’s all he’s gonna do. It’s not worth him nearly doubling his work just to get that last 10%.”