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There is a big wave of talks and promises about switching to Mac going on. Some of those actually make the switch, some are just trying to be trendy. Even Intel CEO is promoting the switch. I'm not sure that has anything to do with the technology. It's fashion. I'm tempted to switch myself. I love Apple. I guess. I never used one, but I have an iPod and iTunes and I'm impressed with Apple design and love beautiful gadgets. Unfortunately I'm not in professions like photography or web design. Those can easily switch platform. But if you're developer or admin, you're stuck.

You can switch to Mac OS because there are not viruses, no spyware and security holes. But if enough people do that, I bet there will be all that in Mac flavor. It's something different to support millions of users of Windows or those few that use Macs. Just wait when millions come to fruit land and start using and abusing their machines, installing crap, surfing irresponsibly and refuse to upgrade their OS and software. Let's see how Mac can handle that.

Windows, Linux, Mac OS: all of these modern operating systems are safe if used right. But the Windows is by far most used and therefor the main target. It's the same with Firefox and Internet Explorer. Like there is no safe web browser, there is no safe OS. If you want, you can crack it. Bad guys just need the motivation. It's the same with cars. There is no car in the world a skilled thief can't get into in 30 seconds. If he wants to.

So, switch to Mac! Enlarge Mac user base! Make the platform more interesting for hackers and other ill-doers! It will take some focus away from Windows and therefore make my platform more secure.

Disclaimer: Before you start firing guns in my direction, please read Ground Rules for the Windows-Macintosh war. (free registration required or use BugMeNot)

Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 12:52 AM | Filed under: System |


# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/29/2005 11:58 AM Jonas Žnidaršič
This must be about the first time I see you talk silly.

One cannot reduce a complex worldwide problem to a simple motivation issue. Come on, I'll say it again, it's just silly. Nerds will hack their electronic alarm clocks if there's a chance and they do. There's not a SINGLE virus writer interested enough in UNIX?


# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/29/2005 3:28 PM Mark

I will not say anything on this matter as I'd be talking out of my arse. All I know is what I read in blogs/comments and those points of views are surely biased.

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/29/2005 5:16 PM Jonas Žnidaršič
Exactly, thanks to Mark for the interesting link. Please note that the list Mark points to was last updated in 1999 (so I'm those must be Classic MacOS viruses). So there IS a motivation to write viruses for the Mac. But none exist for the current Mac OS X.

Now why is that?


# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/29/2005 5:38 PM Mark
My thoughts on that is that UNIX is an open system where hundreds/thousands of fanatic coders around the world can have an insight of the code. What that could mean is, that every possible flaw of the OS can be fixed before the problem/virus/malfunction/exploit or whatever could hit. And that's exactly what they're doing. I would think that coders are interested in writing UNIX viruses/trojans/whatnot but the OS programmers beat them to it and fixing the holes before they could even be exploited. It's probably just the psychology of the whole OpenSource thing where +r00 g33ks look at the code and improve it, making it their 'baby'. I dunno, like I said I might be talking out of my arse here.

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/29/2005 10:13 PM Mare
Ni virusov za unix? Pa ja de.

David ima povsem prav. Pozabil je samo še na en faktor (ki pa je dejansko posledica majhne razširjenosti macov): profil uporabnikov. Na Macih je pač možnost, da se na njem pojavi programer, ki ima voljo, čas in znanje napisat nekaj slabega, precej majhna. Celo manjša od deleža vseh macov na desktopih, saj pri njihovi ceni starši raje kupijo PC za svojega najstnika.

Ni softvera z napako. Celo unix ni tak. Lahko pa se ga seveda idealizira in vse to. Bog pomagaj.

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/30/2005 12:06 AM David
First, I'm no expert. I haven't see a Mac in action in years. Jonas, you aren't serious when you say that there are no Unix/Mac viruses? Why the hell is this available then?

And it's Tiger compatible.

And some more facotrs to include in equation: there are millions of windows users. There are thousands of Linux/Unix zealots that hate Windows. Nobody hates Mac OS. Nobody hates Linus Torvalds.

The result is a lot of viruses on OS with lots of users with lots of programs.

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/30/2005 8:44 AM David
And Mark, the argument that Linux crowd immediately fixes problems doesn't go very far. Ok, the bug is fixed in the source code in CVS/SVN.

But then it has to make it to gazzilion distributions and from there on machines. You have to install it some how or even recompile the kernel or somerhing. Not very user friendly or fast.

I have brand fresh FC3 on my second machine, like I wrote recently. It says it needs to upgrade 248 components. But I get an error every time. So my machine is not patched. It will not patch itself. It doesn't help me at all to know that the bugs are fixed on "mother" Linux, right?

Exactly the same problems as with Windows. You have to get end-user to fix it's own machine. And some don't want to, some don't know how to...

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 5/30/2005 10:06 AM Mark
@David on FC3 issue: That's what you get when running a rpm based distro ;). I tried the FC but crashed the system while recompiling the kernel :s Didn't bother with it anymore.

@Mare: who said there are no UNIX viruses?

As it's true that 90% of computer users are stupid so it's true that *nix software is patched uncompareably faster than that on win systems. You can't argue with that. Computer software on end users will not get patched if one doesn't know or want to, there's potential for break ins'. But if you're running a business you ought to have a skilled admin to patch the computers, don't you? So saying that your computer got explited because you haven't patched your computer is nonsense. Of course, it's still the users fault in the end but then you don't have the right to bitch or rant about it.

Why is the commenting stream turned out to be more user-problem oriented than the actual software.
David, I agree, computer is as safe as the computers' user is smart using it.

How hard it is to break into a *nix OS? I have no idea since I never came even close to thinking on that. There 'are' simple ways for creating a virus/trojan on a *nix box but one would mostly need root permissions to do that and if the admin is smart, then the task is quite a bit harder. But I know a few *nix users who use root for their daily tasks. I say, if you wanna ruin your *nix system, run root. :|
Hackers do use convenience before challenge, hence the amount of crap that's bringing down our PCs'.

Thinking *nix systems are less secure becuase you daily have to patch a program or two is a bunch of bollocks. These voulnerabilities get to be found and patched be it in a day or a week. How long does MS take to release a patch? Relatively long. You think winblows OS doesn't have holes? All OSs' have holes, some are found and fixed and some are neither. I'd just like to see how many voulenrabilites haven't been found in M$ yet.

# re: Switch to Mac and make Windows more secure 8/27/2005 7:42 PM Ma
> @Mare: who said there are no UNIX viruses?

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