1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Kaspersky CEO says Mac security is 10 years behind Microsoft

By Shawn Knight · 34 replies
Apr 26, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,266   +4,934

    If they are going to be as naive as the guest in the first quote, maybe they need their feelings hurt.
     
  2. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    I was kidding, didn't think my comment would get picked out of the myriad.

    I am not always up for arguing or debating (as interesting, necessary or satisfactory as it may be) you know!
     
  3. Guest


    You do know that is a false analogy right? Right? Servers, have from the beginning, taken security very seriously. Second, no one does viruses, malware, trojins, etc to simply shut down a system. The object has always been to make money. Servers won't do that for you unless you're the one running the server. This is simple to understand, server security is a serious thing; ten years ago a server's encryption was running at 256k and today they are much better. And just because it took more macs then the previous predictions said were needed to be targets mean nothing. Of course, feel free to fanboy this issue as hard as you want. I'm sure you're right. So go ahead, and keep your personal info on your mac, and don't bother with the virus checker ... even the free ones like Kaspersky. You did know that Kaspersky has a free, non-trial, version, didn't you?
     
  4. I don't know about 10 years behind. But I do have to say, this is a premature statement, look at the whole computing world. How many run Windows? In 2011, according to User Agent IDs it was said Windows account for ~81% of Internet users, 8% for Mac, 2% for Linux. So as a malicious hacker, who would you target? Now that Macs have hit primetime and more and more people are 'switching' the flaws are being exposed. Same with Linux, though once I heard, don't s*** where you stay, meaning do not expose your own base. So really, has OS X really had as much exposure to the hacking community as Microsoft has?
     
  5. 1. "
    Symantec still counts hundreds of thousands of Windows machines infected with Conficker, for instance, years after that 8-million strong botnet was detected.
    "

    2. "In January 2009, the estimated number of infected computers ranged from almost 9 million[6][7][8] to 15 million.[9] Microsoft has reported the total number of infected computers detected by its antimalware products has remained steady at around 1.7 million from mid-2010 to mid-2011.[10][11]"


    Kaspersky counted a mere 45,000 active machines on Tuesday and just over 30,000 so far Wednesday, numbers that imply that Apple’s first major malware infection is all but over.

    Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft in terms of infections, not security practices. Apple USER security practices is what is behind 10 years. It is obvious that the threat is real and its time for Apple users to get a free AV suit and let the security professionals handle the immediate response. AV suites are not what they used to be.. resource hogging garbage. They have really come a long way, dont be scared to run one, and dont let arrogance stop you either.

    All the fanboy talk is childish and just plain ignorant. Why would someone hate someone who is a fan of something else? Because you are a fan of Windows? Who cares. If you dislike Apple because you run Windows, why would you take the time to post on something that is irrelevant to you? Childish trolls.
     
  6. FANTASTIC move from KASPERSKY!!!... now their sales of KASPERSKY Anti-Virus Mac Edition are going through the roof
     
  7. I am a former Apple employee (Specialist, Expert and Genius), and I can attest to the fact that Macs have pathetic security.

    During 2009, I and others at the Genius Bar were stumped by Macs which continuously kernel panicked at boot, and it was impossible to reinstall Snow Leopard onto the hard disk as the disk was not detected. By pure accident, we were able to detect and format the drive in Windows, after which we could again partition the drive as HFS+ and reinstall Mac OS onto it.

    As the problem became more and more frequent, further investigation revealed that the error was caused by a malware rootkit residing in the operating system. The malware had modified the Mac OS kernel and added a keylogger in the system... however, in most cases this caused the OS to become unstable, and hence the kernel panicking at boot. The reason why we could not reinstall Mac OS onto the drive was because the installation uses the 'latest' kernel found on disk for the installation, so as to be up to date and require less point updates, which in this case was the tampered with kernel.

    After servicing such infected Macs, some of us informed the customers and advised them to use discretion while browsing the web, and they in turn went to our manager and demanded to know why the Geniuses/Techs were claiming that their Macs had a virus when they were (mis)informed that Macs could never get them.

    Those of us who did our duty and informed the customer were fired.

    It was deja-vu when we saw the same thing happen with the Mac Defender trojan. While Apple had admitted that Macs CAN in fact be infected by malware, they shift the blame to various parties and don't take responsibility for their inability to release patches in a timely manner. They also pathetically downplay the impact of malware on Macs... as well as their own insecurities.

    Lion is by far the least secure OS in existence, and is responsible for the growing number of Mac intrusions since July 2011. In fact, the number of Mac infections and intrusions from July-December 2011 had surpassed that of Windows PCs.

    Windows has the tools to combat malware infections, and 'new' viruses are just variants of existing ones, and easy to purge. Most Mac malware infections are zero-day, and Apple's only response is release a fix in the form of a new operating system they can charge people for (Mountain Lion), which has the ability to prevent software installations from titles not downloaded from the App store and associated with a user's Apple ID. They DO know people can generate false digital signatures too right? This to me is more of a licensing recoup rather than a malware fix, as piracy is much more rampant among Mac users than PC users... and Gatekeeper will only prevent people from installing titles they downloaded from torrents or procured from friends.
     
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +430

    ^ Citation needed on much of what you said. You peppered it with enough truth to be plausible, but provide some evidence. Also XP is also still widely in use, so Lion is by far NOT the least secure OS in existence, and it is more secure than SL or Leopard (or so I believe, cite it if you can prove otherwise).

    Windows also has Flame, perhaps you should read some on that.

    Also citation needed on piracy on Mac vs PC.

    If you run pirated software, you assume the risk, I think that is a given if you pirate stuff regardless of the OS. Once you start using a root login to approve stuff, all bets are off.
     
  9. ^ If you can provide me with your email address, I can do better than citations; I have facsimilies of emails and memorandums sent during my tenure with Apple. I would post them online, but past attempts to do so resulted in the images being taken down and any account associated with the image banned.
    We were under strict policy at that time to censor all mention of Mac malware, and in infected systems we were able to clean, we reported to the customer that the "virus" symptoms were in fact caused by a setting the user may have unwittingly changed, and that the Genius Bar had rectified that.

    Windows XP, when brought up to date and is used behind a firewall, is much more secure in a corporate setting than Mac OS X Lion likewise at the latest point update and behind a firewall. It was unfortunate that Steve Jobs' death came just as Lion's remote intrusion, LDAP and other vunlerabilities were discovered, and news of the former overshadowed the latter.
    Prior to Lion, the very architecture of Mac OS X was what made it insecure, albeit its lower market penetration was what made it safe. I encourage you to set up a small network of Windows and Linux PCs and monitor it via Wireshark. Then connect a Mac and see what changes occur over the network. While Mac OS X is loosely based on the very secure BSD, for some reason the Mac will randomly broadcast and attempt to intercept packets not destined for it. If someone released a rogue/orphaned packet in the network, or the Mac was connected to the Internet without a firewall or a NAT router, it would be highly susceptible to intrusion... hence very much insecure, but until now, the lack of interest in compromising systems with low marketshare and lower enterprise value is what made the Mac safe.

    Snow Leopard post 10.6.6 is much more secure than Lion at launch, although I have not kept up afterwards. Most of the articles I've been reading have been published by Symantec, Kaspersky, TrendMicro and F-Secure. By the way, my earlier comment about Lion infections surpassing that of PCs was meant for detections made in the same period of time, not in total/throughout history.

    I've heard of Flame, and like Stuxnet I believe it was a government sponsored project that probably won't affect me. I don't agree with that practice, especially if the source code was somehow obtained, but neither does its existence make Windows less secure than Mac OS. Security is about the architecture of the OS; safety is about its likelihood of being attacked.

    Operating systems in general, from the most secure to least, are as follows:

    1. BSD and other closed-source UNIX operating systems
    2. corporate distributions of Linux (eg. Red Hat)
    3/4. Windows (Vista and later) and public distributions of Linux (eg. Ubuntu, Mint)... they leapfrog over each other in terms of security, but Linux is often the safer choice.
    5. Mac OS X (terrible architecture as I've touched on above)
     
  10. No we don't. You have an IEEE 1394 port, we have direct access to all of your system memory. That's how it works.
     

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...