Advantage - Macintosh

Advantage - Macintosh

Summary: There's plenty of reasons to use a Mac; great software and hardware, the iPod, but perhaps the best reason is security.

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TOPICS: Security
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van_zant.jpgThere are plenty of reasons to use a Mac; great software and hardware, the iPod, but perhaps the best reason is security.

It's pretty well known that the Macintosh is a great platform because of the lack of viruses, trojans and malware that targets it. It's one rare case where less market share is actually good for the platform. There isn't a huge crosshair painted on our backs by increasingly creative script kiddies dying to see their next exploit splashed on the front pages.

Another case in point for going with the Mac is the recent DRM tactics employed by SonyBMG. The entertainment giant has taken a huge new step to protect their music content: installing rootkits on Windows-based PCs. According to Wikipedia:

"A root kit is a set of tools frequently used by an intruder after cracking a computer system. These tools are intended to conceal running processes and files or system data, which helps an intruder maintain access to a system for malicious purposes"

A SonyBMG-produced Van Zant CD, ironically called "Get Right With the Man," contains a small piece of code that, after clicking through an EULA, used a sophisticated cloaking technique often used by virus writers to make it difficult to hack the content protection on the CD.

Although Sony has issued a patch for the malicious code, it represents a disturbing new trend by content providers desperate to lock down their content—at the expense of your privacy. Want to avoid all this ugliness? Buy a Mac. They're impervious to the Sony rootkit and a lot of the other nasties out there.

Topic: Security

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11 comments
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  • Wow, on the same day Apple announces "Critical" fixes

    Check out another Apple story reported on ZDNet today: critical fixes for Quicktime for Mac OSX including possible remote code execution. Great timing!
    archerjoe
    • Yeah..THE NERVE fixing issues BEFORE they become a problem!!!

      Curse those Apple fanatics and their secure OSX!!! Dude no one
      not even this writter indicated that OSX is 100% secure and perfect
      but it is MORE secure than the other guy and by a rather large
      margin.

      Sheeeezzzzz!

      Pagan jim
      Laff
      • Jumping to conclusions

        I was only pointing out the bad luck of the writer due to the timing of an article touting Apple security and an admittedly rare patch for an Apple product.
        archerjoe
    • Well, we don't really have to worry....

      Because the mob isn't targeting a platform with a 5% marketshare.
      broper
      • Fine with me(NT)

        .
        DarthRidiculous
  • Titanic...

    I have both a G4/867 laptop and a P4/2.8 at home. I find the whole "Macs can't be hacked" argument to be problematic in that it assumes facts not yet in evidence. It strikes me as the kind of thinking about the Titanic. The only difference is that Mr. Jobs has not yet proclaimed that "not even God Himself" could hack/infect a Macintosh.
    Third of Five
    • No one claimed that

      No one is claiming that "Macs can't be hacked" . What's being
      stated is that Macs are not being hacked, and they're being ignored
      by the worst offenders in terms of spyware and crazy DRM
      schemes.
      tic swayback
  • Excuses lose meaning over time

    I've been hearing for years now that Macs aren't impervious to
    hacks/viruses/adware/spyware/etc. Detractors claim that it's
    security only through obscurity. That Apple finds security holes
    all the time. Blah blah blah.

    After four to five years of OSX we know a few things. 1) Apple
    fixes security holes within weeks of them being found on a
    consistent basis. 2) There have been no exploits found in the
    wild of any of these security holes 3) There have been no viruses
    released on the Mac 4) there have been no self-propogating
    trojans (though I feel slightly bad for that poor shmuck who
    downloaded an applescript off P2P that wiped his user folder
    instead of installing MS Office) 5) MS has security problems in
    the wild with a robust phishing/spamming/virus sending
    industry that has increased, not decreased, over the same time
    period. And lastly 6) Detractors still use the same arguments
    that Macs are secure only through obscurity and that a virus will
    show up any day now.

    It's been almost five years guys. While you waited for the
    "inevitable" Mac virus you lived with monthly security breeches
    in the wild and expensive anti-virus subscription services. You
    could have lived virus free for all that time. You still can. Go
    buy a Mac! Hurry! Before that "inevitable" virus shows up.
    scrapheap
  • impervious

    I am not sure that using the word impervious best describes the virii situation at hand--but if one is cautious about which applications one installs from the net (making sure the source is authentic and perhaps verifying MD5 checksums), then for the most part you are right about the relative safety.

    Not paying attention to the above can *still* have the same end result--namely if you give root permission during an install--then you are giving up and yielding to the installation in question and trusting that it is not involved in any nefarious activities--if it is doing something 'underhanded' then you get a rootkit on a Mac too.

    There is room for argument on this point--but most will understand the point.

    Your enthusiam and general message is well taken--I have two brothers who border on the 'evangelical' when it comes to Apple--Jobs has been diligent in making strategic decisions for the company and shareholders--OSX for 'Intel' was in development for several years and it will, needless to say, be VERY interesting to see what happens when Apple OSX on Intel hits the market this Spring of 2006.

    I just may get a Mac myself--very innovative to say the least!

    Thanks for your blog
    D T Schmitz
  • Look at the average user

    They don't understand computers that much and are especially
    uninformed on all the security maintenance that needs to be
    done on a PC. The Mac does provide them with a safer
    computing environment, not because it is a "superior" computer
    (and OS) but because they don't have to do the maintenance they
    don't understand.

    It also has some easy apps, especially in iLife, that allows them
    to do some things that they are going to have problems with on
    a PC.

    My wife fits into that group. She's a Physical Therapist and has
    an exceptional knowledge of her field, but she doesn't want to
    be a computer expert - she just wants to use her iBook without
    any problems - or continual maintenance.

    When you consider the novice and average users the Macs
    present a very good argument for their use.
    Ken_z
  • gpwrilh 23 wdb

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