Windows More Secure Than OS X

One of the many reasons why people tout Apple products is because they are apparently “virus proof”. The amount of times I’ve heard general consumers saying that they choose a Mac because some sales person told them that they can’t get viruses is ridiculous. This argument has gone on for many years and as I’ve pointed out before, Apple has security through its obscurity. Because OS X is only in the minority (4 or 5 percent) hackers are less likely to waste their resources trying to hack an OS that’s not used by the vast majority.

However not many people know that Windows is in fact more secure than OS X. Researchers from Black Hat will vouch for this. They say that Apple and OS X are not recommended for corporate use unless it’s hidden behind much larger networks within the corporation. Windows and Windows 7 in particular are much more secure when it comes to the corporate environment.

But in fairness to Apple, they have improved leaps and bounds in their security compared to their older operating systems. Their latest operating system OS X Lion makes up a lot of lost ground and has greatly improved security. Yet they still have further to go, according to Black Hat, OS X is much more vulnerable on the network, nearly every OS X server offers weak or broken authentication mechanisms.

Now it’s all very well saying this, but there is also figures to back this up. Over the past three years, 1,151 common vulnerabilities and major bugs have affected Apple products. The number for Windows is slightly higher at 1,325, but bear in mind that Windows owns nearly 90 percent of the market.

On the mobile side of things Apple is doing much better. It’s iOS operating system is pretty much the top of the pack when it comes to security, with Android not doing so great at all. However Blackberry has the best data protection of the lot.

Source:

Network World

 

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3 Responses to Windows More Secure Than OS X

  1. Guest August 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    in marketing, perception = reality. Apple understands this. MS et al don’t.

  2. Benjamin Schollnick August 9, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Reality obviously disagrees with you.  First of all, you show absolutely no evidence to back up your article.  A link to Black Hat doesn’t cover it.  Quite Simply, an article written over an year ago, easily counters your opinion piece ( http://www.schollnick.net/wordpress/2010/04/the-mac-os-isnt-really-virus-proof/ ).  

    Second, even so, the Black Hat article was discussing MOSX SERVER, not the MOSX Client.  Even so, the claim applies to either Leopard or Snow Leopard, and not the current MOSX Lion.  

    Why have we not seen any real world evidence of Virii infections on the Mac?  We have seen plenty of Trojans, but no real cases of virii reproducing in the wild, and automatically infecting systems.  Trojans are an issue due to user education, and users being gullible, it doesn’t match which platform there will always been trojan success stories due to this simple fact.

    But the simple fact is that whoever can successfully make a virius that can will reproduce and infection other systems automatically on the Mac will be famous.  If not the person, than the virus itself.

    Remember the “I Love You”, and Melissa Viruses?  What about the Morris Worm, that brought down the internet…. Heck, I will even ignore the Active X worms, virus, and trojans…  

    The fact is that the underpinings of Mac OS X is basically BSD Unix.  Compare that to Windows, fairly, and you will see a marked difference in security design.

    Does it make MOSX invulnerable to Viruses and other nasties, absolutely not.  But it does give MOSX an edge, and a more stable environment to base it’s security model on.  After all, BSD Unix’s development history goes back to 1977…   And I think we can also agree that the Unix security model is a fairly robust, and stable security model.  

    The number of vulnerabilities really is meaningless, since they will count a vulnerability multiple times, in different software packages…  Even after the vulnerability is patched.  Even so, they are potential vulnerabilities, what you really would need to measure is actual infections or computer break ins.

    After all, I will counter Black Hat, and raise you a Trend Micro’s David Perry:

    For a few days in late January, the Netsky.p worm was infecting about 2,500 PCs a day. Meanwhile the MySQL bot infected approximately 100 systems a minute (albeit not necessarily desktop PCs). As David Perry, global director of education for security software provider Trend Micro, puts it, “an unprotected [Windows] computer will become owned by a bot within 14 minutes.” [http://www.pcworld.com/article/119624/caught_a_virus.html]

    Yes, it’s historical, but it makes the point.  Why is one of the first things we have to do to secure a Windows box is either install the Microsoft Defender Suite, or install some other antivirus package? Why is it, that we don’t have to do that on the Macintosh?  The fact is, an unprotected Windows box  will be infected by something.  It is not a matter of how, it is a matter of when.  Even protected Windows systems get infected by Zero-Day exploits.  

    It happens.  It may eventually happen on the Mac as well.  But, at this point, without using a trojan, there is no evidence of a virus being able to reliably infect a Macintosh running Snow Leopard or Lion.  

    This doesn’t mean that Microsoft hasn’t improved Windows, it has, but the basic security model for Windows is not yet as robust as on the Mac.

  3. Smartdigitals October 12, 2011 at 3:26 am #

    We Cannot Secure A System For 100% But We Can Do Our Best…

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