Hacker Says Snow Leopard Is Less Secure Than Windows 7

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.

Credit:Ars Technica

Credit:Ars Technica

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%.”

Source: TechWorld

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10 Responses to Hacker Says Snow Leopard Is Less Secure Than Windows 7

  1. Jason September 18, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    I wonder if we will be seeing an “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercial from Apple apologizing for being incorrect about Windows being “less secure” than Mac OS.

    • chieftain20 September 18, 2009 at 10:41 am #

      We never will. That’s because Mac still thinks they are better than PC. I just wish that some of the hackers will take this opportunity to hack away at Mac for now and just load them up with viruses and the works. That way it will shut them up a bit about being more secure.

      And the last quote about hitting 90% rather than 10% is what I’ve been saying all along to them “I’m a Mac” people. Its not that you are more secure, its that you are less popular and hackers would rather infect 9000 rather than 1000. Put that in money terms. How good of a PC could you build with $9000 vs one you could build with $1000. “Uber Elite Top-of-the-Line Better than Alienware” vs. a standard computer. What is your choice?

      I’m a PC.

    • Anonymous September 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

      cant wait to see Anti-Virus commercials for both Mac and Windows.


  2. PetFoodz.Info September 18, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Thats a pretty big security risk lol..

  3. JackBender September 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    There are also other aspects of Mac OS X that makes if vulnerable, like the lack of digital signatures.
    Read from http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2009/09/about-apples-security-foundations-or.html which is quite interesting. The author is a hacker.

  4. Rob September 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Mac will always be the underdog… i just wish Mac fans would understand this and their adverts are fullm of BS.

  5. Anonymous September 19, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    I wonder when “slow” leopard will get hacked and the apple fans will find another way to attack us.

  6. John Zavala September 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    More Happy is coming!

  7. Robert Bernard September 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Regardless, neither one is secure.

  8. Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    not a shock to me really. i never thought to highly of macs. i would only get a mac if it was free lol.

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