Earlier today, I stumbled across this article
on News.com that mentioned a hacking contest that someone held to see
how long it would take for a hacker to gain root access to Mac OS
X. The verdict: 20 – 30 mins.
One of the most common arguments from the Pro-Mac camp is that fact
that it’s more secure than Windows and is virtually hacker-proof.
Another common argument is that Macs are invulnerable to viruses and
spyware. Recent Mac viruses and vulnerabilites have laid that myth to rest as well.
Naturally having their favorite ox gored caused Mac-mavens to quickly denounce the article and results it purported.
Macophiles have long crowed about the safety of the Mac – either
because of it’s ‘superiority’ or through the theory of “Safety Through
Obscurity”. The first theory claims that the Mac is just sooo much
better that it’s unhackable. It may be better in some respects at some
things, but it’s far from perfect.
The second theory claims that because Windows is just so much of a
larger target that Mac users are safe because virus authors will go for
the big game first. By that theory, we should all be running OS/2.
Nobody writes software for it anymore – not even the hackers.
No one platform is going to make you any safer than another. The key is
to pick the platform that works best for you – Mac, Windows, Solaris,
FreeBSD, Linux, even OS/2 – and then learn as much as you can about it,
and secure the heck out of it. Nothing made by Man is ever going to be
perfect. Even if that Man is Steve Jobs.