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Security experts mock Mac security

You can't protect your computer with spin
Thu Jul 30 2009, 09:23

FOR AGES Apple has been peddling its Macs as being more secure than PCs simply because hackers could not be bothered targeting them.

However according to MSNBC the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas has been dicing and slicing the Mac's reputation for security with a number of exploits found in Apple's hardware and software.

Dino Dai Zovi disclosed a software flaw that hackers could use to take control of Macs and steal data that is scrambled to protect it from identity thieves.

The show has also been bad news for Iphone users, which were told that Apple's encryption is a joke and that the Jesus phone could be broken into by someone sending you an SMS.

The show was told that if Macs gain market share there will be a danger that hackers will start having a look under the bonnets of the machines. If they do, they will find it pretty easy to defeat them, presenters said.

Dai Zovi, who is the co-author of "The Mac Hacker's Handbook," said that once hackers start to put substantial resources into targeting Apple's computers, they will be at least as vulnerable as Windows machines.

He said that there is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs, despite the belief of Apple's fanboys that Steve Job's aura is the only anti-virus protection you need.

Charlie Miller, co-author of "The Mac Hacker's Handbook," said that the Mac OS will be easier to crack than Windows because it is bigger and less concisely written. This means that there is more room for vulnerabilities and bugs.

Another problem is that Apple has learned nothing from Microsoft in dealing with exploits. Microsoft has changed its attitude to start fixing exploits quickly. However Apple still goes through a phase of denying that problems exist before it looks at them.

For example, the aforementioned bug in the Iphone operating system has been known to Apple for weeks but so far it has done nothing about it.

It has however released security patches to thwart jailbreaking software and prevent Palm from using Itunes, which indicates Apple's priorities. µ



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