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Mac OS X: Safer, but less secure

Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town.

These are the words of security expert Charlie Miller.

If you use a Mac but you don’t know who Charlie Miller is, you will soon. Charlie is about to disclose a whopping 20 security holes in Mac OS X, all at once – a record for sure.

He uses a technique called fuzzing, which essentially involves spamming an application’s input channels with corrupted data until it crashes, revealing the flaw. You can read more about it from clicking the link.

According to Miller, us Mac users have enjoyed a false sense of security from not being attacked as most attacks are focused on the market leader, Windows. Market share has played a big role in this, but with Apple gaining more and more of this coveted market share we can only speculate what will happen.

Apparently in cracking competitions, it’s often Apple systems that get cracked first. We already know Apple is concerned about security with it’s big vulnerability fix back in late 2009, not long after Snow Leopard was released.

There’s nothing wrong about feeling safe using Mac OS X. It’s not a very popular platform to attack, not because it’s super secure but not enough people use it to make it worthwhile. Many “fan boys” in the Apple community have laughed at Windows for being attacked and exposed as a vulnerable operating system but I’m sure they would shut up if the tide suddenly turned.

I still wouldn’t recommend running out and installing crap-ware like Norton Antivirus on your shiny Mac, but it doesn’t hurt to adopt some healthy web surfing habits

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