Kaspersky: "Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft in security"

Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky has some harsh words for Apple when it comes to security. At the Info Security 2012 conference, Kaspersky told CBR that Apple is “ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security.”

Kaspersky said that although Windows is still hacker's favorite target, Mac malware is growing at an unprecedented rate, something he said was “just a question of time and market share.” Although Apple has long prided itself on offering a more secure environment than Windows, the Mac has recently been hit by several high profile attacks, such as Flashback.

If Apple is going to keep its users secure, Kaspersky says that they'll have to adopt a new update cycle, which some have faulted for allowing Flashback to take off in the first place. They will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago. They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software,” he said.

On the other hand, Apple has been pretty successful (so far) with the 'walled garden' approach they've taken with iOS, and their upcoming Mountain Lion OS will let users opt in to use a similar environment on the desktop. Still, such an approach risks alienating many users, and won't do much to protect against malware like Flashback, which relies on exploiting plugins – in this case, Java.

Kaspersky went so far as to praise Microsoft's approach to security in the past. “They had to do a lot of work to check the code to find mistakes and vulnerabilities. Now it's time for Apple [to do that].”

Make no mistake: Mac malware is on the rise, and Apple definitely needs to act quickly to stop it from getting even worse. But right now the threat is still miniscule compared to the attacks aimed at Windows, a curse that has as much to do with market share as with anything else. But the fact that Mac malware is rare enough to make the news proves that it remains a relatively small problem at this point, at least in terms of the variety of malware that's out there.

Still, Kaspersky says now is the time to act, and welcomes Apple to a brave new world: “Welcome to Microsoft's world, Mac. It's full of malware.”

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To be fair:
(1) Apple has NEVER said their products were virus immune. In fact, anti-virus security programs have been available on the shelves of the Apple stores for as long as there have been Apple stores. Its just the fanbois who got it in their heads they were some how immune. Even us serious business users have known better and that it was just a matter of time and market share.

I've been warning fellow Apple users that this was coming ever since market share rose over 6% and that those living in a fools paradise would be a very tempting target.

(2) That 10 years is 10 years Windows-time. It will be interesting to see how fast Apple catches up now that its an issue. My guess is that 10yrs windows time is less then 1 year Apple time.

I don't see this as an Apple versus Windows thing (Though I do feel that Apple should probably stop marketing their products as immune)...

Microsoft has done a tremendous amount to improve the security of their products and their update schedule should be applauded. This is really great, but it doesn't have anything to do with Apple.

Apple doesn't approach things from the security position Microsoft does. They benefit largely from their lack of market share. I am sure that in the future, they will likely be forced to emulate Microsoft's update schedule and their focus on security, and I think this will be great for everyone. My biggest issue with Apple honestly is the amount of time it takes them to release an update to fix something. But again, this doesn't have anything to do with Microsoft...

hmmm, a virus scanning company who make viruses said Mac have viruses now<<<<Sounds like old news and shocking the trolls still say Mac do not get viruses. Wait a minute, they get paid by this companies to say such things and if they only knew the difference between a malware and virus.

i've just stop subscribing to kaspersky internet security yesterday and switch to security essentials after 6 years. maybe that push eugene over the brinks. you think?

Apple has no financial gain in making it secure....that's all it comes down to. However, I'm betting the next OS will be promoted as "a new, revolutionary secure OS".

I let someone try to get in to my Mac once. I had it secured the regular way, with a password and all. Granted, he had physical access to the machine, but let's just say it took him less time to get in to my Mac than it takes me to do the little "hacking" sequences on Mass Effect 2.

Enron said,
I let someone try to get in to my Mac once. I had it secured the regular way, with a password and all. Granted, he had physical access to the machine, but let's just say it took him less time to get in to my Mac than it takes me to do the little "hacking" sequences on Mass Effect 2.

Having access to a keyboard and screen are not 'technically' physical access. (Not sure what he did, but there are ways to hijack a Mac using just a keyboard and monitor though.)

The 'Walled Garden' of iOS is not true application isolation. So it has helped iOS hold security far ahead of say Android, it is not the best nor should it be the only security angle Apple uses.

As an example:
WP7 has a more robust security model for application isolation and application approval security checking, and they go far beyond iOS for a reason. Even comparing the security technologies between Windows 7 and OS X, there is a massive difference in the level of protections inherent in kernel code all the way up to Application layer handling of security. OS X is more than 10 years behind in some regards.

Apple has had the luxury of Windows being the target and getting hit with 'new' exploit technologies and then having the chance to add these protections to OS X over the years.

Sadly, they only 'patch' the concept that were exposed and didn't build any security infrastructure into the coding practices nor the kernel or OS model of OSX or the Application layers. So they patched to prevent the 'new' exploits, but never created a comprehensive security model for OS X.

(Before Android users jump in, Android has little to no security in comparison to either, it is sadly much like Windows 3.x/9x that had very little to no security. Windows NT in 1993 had more security technology than Android, if you want to see how insane Android's security model really is.)


So technically the concept is true, Apple's security technology is a full generation behind Microsoft's.

thenetavenger said,
The 'Walled Garden' of iOS is not true application isolation. So it has helped iOS hold security far ahead of say Android, it is not the best nor should it be the only security angle Apple uses.

As an example:
WP7 has a more robust security model for application isolation and application approval security checking, and they go far beyond iOS for a reason. Even comparing the security technologies between Windows 7 and OS X, there is a massive difference in the level of protections inherent in kernel code all the way up to Application layer handling of security. OS X is more than 10 years behind in some regards.

Apple has had the luxury of Windows being the target and getting hit with 'new' exploit technologies and then having the chance to add these protections to OS X over the years.

Sadly, they only 'patch' the concept that were exposed and didn't build any security infrastructure into the coding practices nor the kernel or OS model of OSX or the Application layers. So they patched to prevent the 'new' exploits, but never created a comprehensive security model for OS X.

(Before Android users jump in, Android has little to no security in comparison to either, it is sadly much like Windows 3.x/9x that had very little to no security. Windows NT in 1993 had more security technology than Android, if you want to see how insane Android's security model really is.)


So technically the concept is true, Apple's security technology is a full generation behind Microsoft's.

how do you figure? keep in mind that we don't have days to read yotr message. tl;dr

BumbleBritches57 said,

how do you figure? keep in mind that we don't have days to read yotr message. tl;dr

Fair statement... However I don't get paid to provide technical education on OS theory and engineering here. This is stuff you can find if you are curious though.

BumbleBritches57 said,

how do you figure? keep in mind that we don't have days to read yotr message. tl;dr


Kernel? Security model? Application isolation? It's too complicated for me!!!!
I'll just stick to my lovely Mac and continue to convince myself Windows malware is simply all M$' fault.

Kaspersky is 100% right, Apples response to the infections have been abysmal. Sure the products are DESIGNED to be secure, but most products are, but the spread lies for years that this is enough. When malware comes out, they deny deny deny, eventually acknowledge but refuse to help fix it. Eventually after that they announce a fix, then some weeks after that it rolls onto Software Update, and doesn't even fix the infections. Mac OS X supposedly has a built in anti virus. If Apple had a clue about security than we wouldn't need 3rd party antivirus to come to the rescue a la Windows.

Simon- said,
Kaspersky is 100% right, Apples response to the infections have been abysmal. Sure the products are DESIGNED to be secure, but most products are, but the spread lies for years that this is enough. When malware comes out, they deny deny deny, eventually acknowledge but refuse to help fix it. Eventually after that they announce a fix, then some weeks after that it rolls onto Software Update, and doesn't even fix the infections. Mac OS X supposedly has a built in anti virus. If Apple had a clue about security than we wouldn't need 3rd party antivirus to come to the rescue a la Windows.

I have had my iMac for 3 years now and not once have I been infected with anything...never.

Scorbing said,

I have had my iMac for 3 years now and not once have I been infected with anything...never.

I haven't had a Windows Virus in probably a decade now. Keep believing that Apples security was anything other than the simple fact that nobody cared to write them for a platform with little market share. The bigger they grow the more they will be attacked, and the more their unpreparedness and lack of experience in the field will show.

ROTF...I can't stop laughing. Really? Is he for real? he must be on Microsoft's payroll. Since when is Microsoft's security better than Apples? What a joke. Every day more and more Windows-based PCs get attacked and infected, more than any OS out there, that's how secure Windows is. Give me a break...

Scorbing said,
ROTF...I can't stop laughing. Really? Is he for real? he must be on Microsoft's payroll. Since when is Microsoft's security better than Apples? What a joke. Every day more and more Windows-based PCs get attacked and infected, more than any OS out there, that's how secure Windows is. Give me a break...

Hows middle school treatin' ya?

dtboos said,

Hows middle school treatin' ya?

Actually I have been out of Middle School for over 30 years now. You on the other hand are going to sit there with a straight face and tell me Windows is more secure than Mac OSX? Really? You believe that? You must be a Microsoft fanboy who never in your life have touched or used an Apple computer and have no clue what you are saying.

Scorbing said,

Actually I have been out of Middle School for over 30 years now. You on the other hand are going to sit there with a straight face and tell me Windows is more secure than Mac OSX? Really? You believe that? You must be a Microsoft fanboy who never in your life have touched or used an Apple computer and have no clue what you are saying.

I'm disappointed that in your case, age is clearly not an indicator of maturity.

Scorbing said,

Actually I have been out of Middle School for over 30 years now. You on the other hand are going to sit there with a straight face and tell me Windows is more secure than Mac OSX? Really? You believe that? You must be a Microsoft fanboy who never in your life have touched or used an Apple computer and have no clue what you are saying.

Put down the crack pipe, mister. It's clearly destroying your brain. Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Scorbing said,
ROTF...I can't stop laughing. Really? Is he for real? he must be on Microsoft's payroll. Since when is Microsoft's security better than Apples? What a joke. Every day more and more Windows-based PCs get attacked and infected, more than any OS out there, that's how secure Windows is. Give me a break...

Weird out of the 500 to 800 Windows PCs I have touched in the past couple of weeks, I have not seen ONE with malware.

Are you sure you are talking about Windows Vista/7 or Windows 95?

Scorbing said,
ROTF...I can't stop laughing. Really? Is he for real? he must be on Microsoft's payroll. Since when is Microsoft's security better than Apples? What a joke. Every day more and more Windows-based PCs get attacked and infected, more than any OS out there, that's how secure Windows is. Give me a break...

RDF

Ive spoke to a few mac users i know and they admit they have virus protection and even say that those that say its not needed are stupid specially if its also their work computer.

End of the day their have been no viruses for macs because there has been no need to break the code the amount of people actually using them has been small compared to a Windows computer. Now times are changing and people are starting to get macs and "some" people are taking time to make a virus, trojan or something else to infect a computer. Yet all the mac users think "Hey its a mac were safe!" were you safe when apple ****ed up there code and reset all your data? (when i say reset i mean you lost it all) you are NEVER safe if someone wants to cause harm or even use UR computer as a bot to pass information.

I seriously get fed up of mac fanboys saying "Im a mac im safe" when all too soon they be going "Im a mac and need decent protection like Windows".

BumbleBritches57 said,
Except that Mac OS is inherrently secure, but have your day Windows fanbois, I'l get outta the way.

Inherently insecure would be technically more accurate and spelled correctly too...

The OS model of the XNU kernel and the OS X upper layer models were not designed to be as secure, nor are they 'inherently' more secure than Windows NT.

When NT was designed, it avoided the pitfalls of kernel issues and the UNIX model because of security. Something Apple and most people have never learned.

There is a reason why OS X is pwnd first in tests, as many of the ways into OS X are leftover security issues in XNU and the way the UNIX model works.

(There is a reason why Google only puts up prize money for Chrome being compromised on Windows 7 (NT) 64bit, and will not pay out the money on OS X, Linux, Android, or even Chrome OS ironically.)

NT is INHERENTLY one of the most secure OSes ever conceived. At the time of its creation, it has features that the UNIX world would not see or fully get for years, with many features still not present in a modern version of Linux or OS X.

(Check out the kernel level security messaging and object token system for something to read up on that Linux and OS X still lack in providing.)

This is hard for people to swallow because of the WinXP years. The part they forget is that Microsoft chose to leave the security turned off in WindowsXP to have better Win9x application compatibility and make the transition easier for home users. Which was STUPID, but says nothing about the security model of Windows NT.

Really? Is Kaspersky seriously that stupid.........really????? Do they know nothing of Unix/Linux? /sigh

Meanwhile, Kaspersky's virus protection sucks, and their "New" client for the Mac doesn't even support Lion or Lion Server. Sounds like they are behind to me!

I'm not saying Macs can't get a virus. I scanned my machine two weeks ago and had two Window's viruses on my machine. The Mac had the virus, but because it wasn't designed for Mac, it did nothing to my machine. I was just a carrier.

My favoriate Virus protection for Mac is Sophos. I've tried McAfee, Symantec/Norton, VirusBarrier, Kaspersky, and Trend. Sophos is by far the best and least resource hog of all of them. Some, like McAfee and Symantec put pieces of itself all of your Mac it takes months to get it all out.

John Shoemaker said,
Really? Is Kaspersky seriously that stupid.........really????? Do they know nothing of Unix/Linux? /sigh

Meanwhile, Kaspersky's virus protection sucks, and their "New" client for the Mac doesn't even support Lion or Lion Server. Sounds like they are behind to me!

I'm not saying Macs can't get a virus. I scanned my machine two weeks ago and had two Window's viruses on my machine. The Mac had the virus, but because it wasn't designed for Mac, it did nothing to my machine. I was just a carrier.

My favoriate Virus protection for Mac is Sophos. I've tried McAfee, Symantec/Norton, VirusBarrier, Kaspersky, and Trend. Sophos is by far the best and least resource hog of all of them. Some, like McAfee and Symantec put pieces of itself all of your Mac it takes months to get it all out.


Kaspersky should really keep their mouth SHUT when it comes to Mac's... I bought their KAV for Mac 2011 a year ago, and had to pull it off after 2 weeks because my i7 was being maxed out by their ****ing crappy engine.

Went to Sophos' FREE anti-virus and NEVER looked back. Check the Kaspersky support forums, they don't give a rat's ass about their Mac line, yet they preach to that user base?

Start supporting the ****ing products you sell before you open your pie hole next time!

BTW, those who think a Mac, or for that matter, ANY device, can't get a virus, get your head out of your ass and smell the roses... When viruses like Stuznet ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet ) can infect components of an Iranian nuclear reactor and physically damage them, do you really think your precious Mac can't get something?

BTW, I own a MBP and tell EVERY MAC OWNER to get A/V ASAP!

John Shoemaker said,
Really? Is Kaspersky seriously that stupid.........really????? Do they know nothing of Unix/Linux? /sigh

Do you? What about UNIX makes it inherently more secure than NT? (NT actually has far better process security mechanisms in place than *nix)

What a load of crap, I own a tech company 80% of the computers that are coming in are PC's who continually get infected, no matter what AV program they use. The number one culprit is downloading of music files from torrent sites etc people just launching the file as it is called something like hillaryduff.mp3.exe and they run them and get infected over and over again. Malware removal on a PC is 100 times more difficult to remove than from a Mac, and 100 times more easily installed then on a Mac. There is no registry to corrupt and crash, just .plist files that can easily be deleted and a default one re-created, binary files that you just drag to the trash no uninstaller needed and only a few places that a file can be set up to start from. This is real world experience, no apple bashing or microsoft bashing, it is what it is. Windows 8 will be a huge leap forward for Microsoft in terms of security because of the way Metro apps will be distributed, but the interface for Windows 8 is so far out in left field that only nerds can appreciate it. We have a windows 8 machine set up, we ask clients to use it and tell us what they think, we don't tell them it is windows 8, we just say can you try this and tell us what you think. 95% of them are confused and have no idea what to do. All microsoft had to do is keep all the awesome things technically that are in windows 8, the 512 MB of memory and atom cpu as minimums, the quick boot time, even an app store, but redefining the user interface so radically is just shooting themselves in the foot. Anyone over 40 won't get it and doesn't have the time to get it, Windows 7 is the next Windows XP it will be around for a long time.

And Kaspersy can suck it, all they are doing is flame bating and using FUD to make people scared and go by programs they don't need that is their business. They aren't in the security business, they are in the scare-ware business.

Kaspersky give me the real numbers, how many real viruses are "In The Wild" for Mac and how many for Windows. I think the numbers will speak for themselves.

If Macs represent %15 of the market the percentage for Mac should be high, I am betting that the number is 95% less than what PC's have.

Let see the real numbers.

jwcom said,
What a load of crap, I own a tech company 80% of the computers that are coming in are PC's who continually get infected, no matter what AV program they use. The number one culprit is downloading of music files from torrent sites etc people just launching the file as it is called something like hillaryduff.mp3.exe and they run them and get infected over and over again.

People are stupid. How is that Microsoft's fault?

jwcom said,
We have a windows 8 machine set up, we ask clients to use it and tell us what they think, we don't tell them it is windows 8, we just say can you try this and tell us what you think. 95% of them are confused and have no idea what to do.

your clients are the biggest idiots then. this is how the test should go:
"open the mail app. it's the green square."
if they say: "the one that says calendar? i'm confused... that one is green too"
you tell them to get the hell out of your office.

Your first line completely invalidates everything else.

80% of people who come in have PC's you say...

+80% of people overall own PC's.

Hmmm I wonder why the majority of computers you work on are running Windows.... BECAUSE MORE PEOPLE OWN THEM

jwcom said,
What a load of crap, I own a tech company 80% of the computers that are coming in are PC's who continually get infected, no matter what AV program they use. The number one culprit is downloading of music files from torrent sites etc people just launching the file as it is called something like hillaryduff.mp3.exe and they run them and get infected over and over again. Malware removal on a PC is 100 times more difficult to remove than from a Mac, and 100 times more easily installed then on a Mac. There is no registry to corrupt and crash, just .plist files that can easily be deleted and a default one re-created, binary files that you just drag to the trash no uninstaller needed and only a few places that a file can be set up to start from. This is real world experience, no apple bashing or microsoft bashing, it is what it is.

Duh. If users are stupid, they'll get a virus by social engineering no matter what. If someone who downloads a hillaryduff.mp3.exe will click "OK" on the UAC prompt and let it wreck havoc on their computer, then same person will double-click on the hillaryduff.mp3.app on a Mac and enter their credentials when prompted.

Regarding how malware removal is easier than PCs - that's because the Mac malware aren't as sophisticated yet. Pretty sure that one can code a malware to corrupt lots of .plist files that makes it very hard to replace the correct one. How do you "corrupt" the Windows registry anyway in the first place unless you manage to modify the database file that the Windows registry is stored in (there is more than one file in the first place - there's at least one file for each user plus some for the system). And the files are not writable when Windows in running... you must use the Windows APIs to modify the registry. Windows malware can definitely write or overwrite registry entries throughout the whole registry but then again, a Mac malware can also corrupt plist files belonging to different apps and parts of the OS. Perhaps in the Win9x days, the registry was what you described but on Vista/Win7 a program cannot write to the system part of the registry without a UAC prompt first. And the NT versions of the Windows registry (not sure about 9x) have permissions like that of the Windows and Mac file systems as well. While I'd say the registry is vulnerable to disk corruption due to it being a monolithic database file, I don't see how malware can trivially corrupt the Windows registry. You can anyway restore the registry to stock by copying the registry file from a Windows CD - but you lose all the program settings.

Unless we want our computers to be locked down like how iOS (and Mountain Lion) will be locked down. Which may not be a bad thing, as you said, for the common user.

goofyinthehead said,
Facts remain that the known issues with macs still are nothing compared to what Windows users have to deal with.

Known issues with Mac:

- Not being able to connect to any standard projector or TV (requires a ridiculous adapter which many people don't have on hand)
- Not being able to run all programs (majority of programs are for Windows)
- Far lower security standards (Apple believes in security by unpopularity)
- Issues with "ejecting" flash drives (can't simply pull them out)

etc

andrewbares said,

- Not being able to connect to any standard projector or TV (requires a ridiculous adapter which many people don't have on hand)

You can get a Mini DisplayPort to <whatever> adapter for less than $5. If a user plans on connecting to a projector it's not difficult to buy one beforehand.


- Not being able to run all programs (majority of programs are for Windows)

Non-issue. Ignoring the fact you can install Windows on a Mac, if the user wanted to run Windows applications then they wouldn't buy a Mac in the first place.

Far lower security standards

"Far lower" is a stretch, but indeed Apple do need to make improvements in terms of security.


- Issues with "ejecting" flash drives (can't simply pull them out)

You can't pull out an external storage device while it's being written to on any system.

virtorio said,

You can get a Mini DisplayPort to <whatever> adapter for less than $5. If a user plans on connecting to a projector it's not difficult to buy one beforehand.


Non-issue. Ignoring the fact you can install Windows on a Mac, if the user wanted to run Windows applications then they wouldn't buy a Mac in the first place.


"Far lower" is a stretch, but indeed Apple do need to make improvements in terms of security.


You can't pull out an external storage device while it's being written to on any system.

How do Jobs balls taste?

virtorio said,
No idea. If you have a problem with anything I posted feel free to point out what it is.

Didn't you get the memo? If someone says something about Apple they're automatically considered a fanboy, regardless of whether the points are true or not...

You guys have wasted too much time debating if there are or will be viruses for any OS

I shouldn't have to worry because I've installed 'Common Sense 2012'

Jerid said,
I shouldn't have to worry because I've installed 'Common Sense 2012'
Flashback is a drive by download. You visit an infected site, you're infected. Flashback prompts for the password but refusing it does not actually prevent infection, instead it installs itself at user level instead of system level. Disabling/uninstalling Java will prevent Flashback, but only until a successor is made that uses a comparable vulnerability in something else.

Part of the problem is how apple is focused on some things, and completely ignores other things until a lot of people scream at them.

How they had ignored flawed LDAP login issue (apple's fault), and not updating Java in a more timely fashion dragging there feet.

I was actually thinking about this yesterday when someone at my work got the flashback virus on their macbook. Apple doesn't know squad about security... it's never been an issue. Hell they almost went out of business in 97 and since then they've solely focused on selling their products.

smooth3006 said,
Another garbage story just as kaspersky is crapware. Ive yet to have any infection on osx lion.

I have yet to have my Windows-based machines infected. Doesn't mean Windows-based malware isn't a problem.

smooth3006 said,
Another garbage story just as kaspersky is crapware. Ive yet to have any infection on osx lion.

Tada! We have a winner!

Just because You did not have an infection.... (how do you know anyway????
Does not mean that Mac os x is not a new target.

What he said makes perfect logical sense!

smooth3006 said,
Another garbage story just as kaspersky is crapware. Ive yet to have any infection on osx lion.

Tada! We have a winner!

Just because You did not have an infection.... (how do you know anyway????
Does not mean that Mac os x is not a new target.

What he said makes perfect logical sense!

smooth3006 said,
Another garbage story just as kaspersky is crapware. Ive yet to have any infection on osx lion.

haha excellent. I don't see why Apple fans can't just accept the truths about Apple products... They aren't the greatest piece of technology to grace this planet! All Apple is good at is marketing.

smooth3006 said,
Another garbage story just as kaspersky is crapware. Ive yet to have any infection on osx lion.
I haven't had any viruses on my Windows PC. Does that mean they don't exist?

bewsh said,

haha excellent. I don't see why Apple fans can't just accept the truths about Apple products... They aren't the greatest piece of technology to grace this planet! All Apple is good at is marketing.

Well, they're great at making great products too actually. But yes, viruses and malware are an issue. I run Sophos.

bewsh said,

haha excellent. I don't see why Apple fans can't just accept the truths about Apple products... They aren't the greatest piece of technology to grace this planet! All Apple is good at is marketing.

That kind of sounds like everyone here who is so in love with Google and Chrome. They MUST be the greatest things on Earth just because everyone here seems to think so!! NOT!!

The guy is totally dead on about it's only going to get worse for Macs though, guaranteed.

protocol7 said,
I still haven't heard of anyone who has been infected yet.

Because hardly anyone cares to write viruses for Mac's, since hardly anyone uses Mac's compared to PC's.

If there's $500,000,000 cash in a more secure room A, and only $1,000 cash in a less secure room B, most criminals will still go for room A since the payoff is better.

I thought this was obvious? I'm sure the majority of Mac users would probably even admit this.

Windows has more users and more people looking to find vulnerabilities so there are more security fixes. Simples.

Tom said,
I thought this was obvious? I'm sure the majority of Mac users would probably even admit this.

Windows has more users and more people looking to find vulnerabilities so there are more security fixes. Simples.

Nah, majority of Apple users are brainwashed into thinking that their operating system is secure.

There have been plenty of hackathons where Windows 7 was the most secure (and Mac was the easiest to hack into)

Adequate said,
Lies. Mac users can't get viruses, they have a Mac.

To this very way that's still true. There isn't a single virus out in the wild for OS X.

.Neo said,

To this very way that's still true. There isn't a single virus out in the wild for OS X.

Prove that there are no OSX viruses in the wild.

.Neo said,

To this very way that's still true. There isn't a single virus out in the wild for OS X.

Even if that was true, that's a pointless argument. If your computer is infected and transmitting your financial details to crooks, you aren't going to care they're using a virus or trojan or worm or whatever.

Besides, Windows users are more likely to install malware themselves than they are to actually get a virus. It's all about social engineering now.

.Neo said,
To this very way that's still true. There isn't a single virus out in the wild for OS X.

People need to stop with the "there's no viruses" thing as that's only a small portion of the types of malware that's out there. Even OSX has its share of trojans, "scareware" apps and so on. Just because it's not a virus doesn't make it harmless. Ignoring it is just going to make it worse in the long run. If you can install software, it's an attack surface.

Edited by Max Norris, Apr 25 2012, 9:23pm :

Adequate said,
Lies. Mac users can't get viruses, they have a Mac.

Isn't Unix/OSX (like Linux) a cancer ? That means that they got bigger virus in their computers than just couple small, poor viruses that tries to survive another day in Windows.

Max Norris said,

People need to stop with the "there's no viruses" thing as that's only a small portion of the types of malware that's out there. Even OSX has its share of trojans, "scareware" apps and so on. Just because it's not a virus doesn't make it harmless. Ignoring it is just going to make it worse in the long run. If you can install software, it's an attack surface.

I'm not ignoring anything. I'm merely confirming that there are in fact no viruses out in the wild for OS X, something mentioned by Adequate above.

nohone said,

Prove that there are no OSX viruses in the wild.

You are asking someone to prove a negative (which is nearly impossible) when all you have to do is show proof that 1 exists (which is more probable).

Malware is malware, and although a virus may not be what all those Macs were infected with (via the Java vulnerability) it is all semantics as far as I'm concerned. Virus is synonymous with trojans, malware, adware, in my opinion.

Saying that anything is 100% secure is just plain foolishness. Nothing is.

Lies. Mac users can't get viruses, they have a Mac.

Speaking in hyperbole is plain foolishness as well. There are some Mac users with the misinformation that they can't get viruses. But just because some users are idiots or ignorant doesn't mean that all users are. Do I get to make blanket statements that all Windows users are idiots if I find an idiot Windows user to support my claim?

Apple, unfortunately, made the bold claim that Macs were immune from *Windows* viruses (i know, big ****ing deal right?). Oh well. Marketing and executives tend to say all kinds of stupid stuff.

Shadrack said,

You are asking someone to prove a negative (which is nearly impossible) when all you have to do is show proof that 1 exists (which is more probable).


Macs ARE vulnerable to viruses. We don't even need a sample virus to known that:

There is nothing on OSX preventing a developer to create an application that will copy itself inside other write-accessible executables or repackage setup files downloaded by the user (before he shares them to other users) to include a copy of itself : in other words, there is NO miraculous protection that would make osx vulnerable to trojan, drive-by-downloads, keyloggers, botnets, but not vulnerable to viruses.

There are probably many viruses designed for OSX. However we're no longer in the 90's. Normal people no longer share apps on a floppy disk or usb key on a regular basis. And viruses don't spread to CD/DVD that are already written and finalized. This seriously limits the effectiveness of a virus propagation, especially on an OS with less than 8% marketshare worldwide. And since most mac users don't use antivirus, this makes it almost impossible for viruses to get in the hands of antivirus vendors.

So, NO, mac osx isn't better designed than Windows to avoid viruses. This is a myth. Mac CAN get viruses. But viruses can't spread on lots of Macs, because Windows machines can't be used to spread them. The only way for a mac virus to spread efficiently would be to infected both Windows and OSX executables and setup packages.

An exemple of the stupidity of saying that there is no viruses on mac:
there is no viruses on Windows CE too despite the fact that it had 17% marketshare on Smartphones a few years ago, and despite the fact that Windows CE 5 (on which wm6 is based) is not more secure than Windows 95.
Should we conclude that Windows CE is better than NT? (and more secure than osx? since there has never been any drive-by download malware infection on Windows ce)

.Neo said,

To this very way that's still true. There isn't a single virus out in the wild for OS X.

And how many Windows worms have there been in the last 10 years that could infect a computer without the user doing something stupid. I can think of 3 (not counting all the script kiddies that rewrap the same virus into something slightly different). Windows isn't this gaping security hole people act like it is. All the problems users have come from things they have chosen to (or tricked into) installing. If you have half a brain and don't install software from unrepeatable sources you will never have a problem. Even those few viruses I referenced could not affect uses with automatic update turned on.

sphbecker said,
And how many Windows worms have there been in the last 10 years that could infect a computer without the user doing something stupid.

Did I say otherwise? No. Did I even suggest otherwise? No. For the second time I merely confirmed that there are indeed no viruses out in the wild for OS X. It's hilarious how some of you immediately jump on the offensive assuming I'm making a pass at Windows in the progress.

Flashback is just the tip of the iceberg...more and more is going to be written. Do they really think OS X ML will fix this with gatekeeper? It's worse than UAC in Windows!

Yeah, having a centralized digital signature based application service is worse than UAC.

Now I remember why I barely ever bother to read comments or "news articles" any more, they're mostly just ****ing bad.

boumboqc said,
From KAPERSKY, it is ok.
kaspersky it would be different.

If you read between lines, the CEO just wants us to buy Kaspersky for Mac Antivirus.