Mac OS X threatened by security issues?
The question pops up every other week or month, for example today on SecurityFocus
(owned by Symantec?). According to their report, Mac OS X had about as much vulnerabilities fixed this year as Windows XP. Their verdict is that the time for Mac users "not to worry" is over. I have to respectfully disagree.
The BIG problem in security (as in Windows' lack of, rather) is that unpatched (and even patched) systems are automatically attacked as soon as they're connected to the internet. Or using Outlook. Or using Internet Explorer. Systems are attacked without the computer or its user being a specific
target: They're just attacked because they can
The private Mac user, however, can turn his/her computer on without a firewall between the Mac and the 'net without having to fear that the computer would be infiltrated after a couple of minutes or even hours. If the computer is
a target (because of information that's on it specifically!), the unpatched vulnerabilities are certainly something to look into - as is a dedicated firewall device and checking logfiles and comparing checksums for 'interesting' UN*X tasks (via rootkit scanners
, for example). But for the general Mac user, the online-life certainly is still a whole lot different compared to that of a Windows user, who needs antiviral software, anti-rootkits and spyware-detectors just to be able to keep on checking E-Mails...
So please: Stop the FUD, SecurityFocus...