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Doubts cast on Mac/Windows vulnerability

updated 04:20 pm EST, Thu December 20, 2007

Mac security vs. Windows

Sharp criticism is being directed at ZDNet's George Ou for a piece suggesting that Macs are more vulnerable than Windows PCs. Ou compiled a list of Secunia notices from 2007, and noted that while Windows XP and Vista had a total of 44 security warnings issued, Mac OS X had 243, all but two of which were deemed "highly critical." One problem with this, say observers, is that Secunia itself includes a warning on its website, advising people not to use its statistics to compare products against each other.

Another claimed issue is that even flaws which are listed as critical are not necessarily more likely to occur. Mac OS X, for example, was at one point cited as having a tcpdump vulnerability, but many users may have never had to approach the application. Conversely, a DirectX opening in Windows Vista could have been exposed with a WAV or AVI file, something much more likely for the average user.

Moreover, categories for the operating systems analyzed are said to have been biased. Only XP Pro and Vista were counted on the Windows side, whereas all versions of Mac OS X were factored in, including server editions. There are also said to be a number of warnings mislabeled by Ou, ones which either affected all operating systems, third-party software, or Apple programs running on Windows or the iPhone. It is suggested that if all factors were properly weighed, a user of Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard would likely encounter far fewer risks than someone using Windows XP, and possibly Vista. [via ZDNet]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. smitch

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005


    The only real thing

    that George Ou's article casts doubt about is his credibility (and that of his employer). Nothing he says in the future will be worth listening to in my opinion. It was PURE bias.

  1. MacnTX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    Who cares...

    Simply do yourself a favor and never read any of the drivel from ZDNet or George Ou. A little thing called "the facts" seem to not be very important to either one of them anyway...

  1. sixmemos

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2006


    Fits a pattern

    Unfortunately, this author (George Ou) at ZDNET has a history of writing idiotic and inflammatory pieces about Apple. His writing has a history of being simultaneously confrontational and obtuse, and has attracted the scorn of many other bloggers, such as the Macalope or Daring Fireball. Why he continues to be employed - except as an unwitting, professional troll - is completely beyond me.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999



    While he is digging deeper for "problems", he is also digging himself a grave.

    Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Whatever it takes for notoriety and a few more clicks.

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005



    People actually still visit that trash?

  1. macuserssmelllikebum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2006



    Latin for fucktard.

  1. brainiac_7

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005



    If you actually believe the inane ravings of Ou's rant, go back to your Vista desktop and get back to work!

  1. ebernet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003


    What surprises me...

    is that Ou still has a platform to write on...

  1. Monde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004


    can't tell s*** from...

    George Ou looses tons of credibility here. Anyone claiming Vista or any other flavor of Windows is more secure than OSX are just too dumb for words.

    Clearly this guy gets perks from MS-hence the bias. The thing I can't figure out is why we in the Mac community haven't gotten used to it yet. As Mac climbs towards double digits in terms of market share, MS's position becomes threatened. The truth won't work here, so they have to lie their Ballmers off.

  1. TheCrow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Daniel sums it up nicely

    Daniel Dilger wrote a good article summing up "Mac are More Vulnerable" article.

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