Black Hat: 'OS X networks are significantly more vulnerable'

Think that OS X is more secure than Windows? Think again!

Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is more secure than Apple's Mac OS X, claims security researchers at Black Hat.

According to Alex Stamos of iSec Partners, OS X has a greater number of vulnerabilities compared to Windows 7, and when it comes to network security, 'OS X networks are significantly more vulnerable to network privilege escalation,' and that 'almost every OSX server service offers weak or broken authentication mechanisms.'

Stamos also goes on to dispel the myth that Mac OS X isn't attracting attention from hackers. To support this he points out that over the past three years 1,151 major vulnerabilities have affected Apple products, only slightly less than the 1,325 affecting Windows.

Things are looking up for Mac OS X though, as 10.7 'Lion' adds application sandboxing to keep malware contained. Whether this will be enough to make Lion more secure than its predecessors remains to be seen.

But what about mobile devices? Independent security researcher Dino Dai Zovi claims that Apple is doing a good job with iOS because applications run in a sandbox and the operating system makes use of a dynamic application signing feature where apps are verified before running.

When it comes to Android, Zovi claims that this mobile OS is less secure than iOS and actually about as secure as a jailbroken iOS device. Blackberry has better data security than iOS but doesn't have the sandbox feature for applications.


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