Ancient flaws leave OS X vulnerable?: ZDNet Australia: News: Security — This could present a serious problem if the OS actually becomes dominant, eh?

OS X contains unpatched security flaws of a type that were fixed on alternative operating systems more than a decade ago, according to a security researcher credited with finding numerous bugs in Apple’s increasingly popular platform.

Neil Archibald, senior security researcher at software security specialists Suresec, told ZDNet Australia that as Apple’s market share increases, OS X will come under more scrutiny by security researchers, who he believes will find plenty of “low-hanging bugs”.



  1. Joao says:

    Oh, I´m sure the Uber-Hyped OSX will show some dirty lining once the share goes up.
    Still, one of the best interfaces around.
    Just a question:
    Jobs says this new core duos are 4 to 5x faster than previous top of line macs. But how fast are they compared to similarly equipped PC/Windows machines?????
    I´m an Old time mac user (I own(ed) a original LC, a 7100 PPC and a original iBook), but my heart just washed away the rainbow colors it used to have. Main reason:
    My iBook was twice as expensive as my PC (athlon 1200) when I bought both some years ago. My iBook has been in the shelf for more than a year now, while my pc is turned on almost all of the time. I changed HD two times (40->120->250 Gb) and Graphics (nVidia MX2 -> Mx4000 -> Fx5200) and stil is a darn good machine to work on. and still is scalable and soon will have a new processor/Mobo.
    PCs are very imperfect, but at least they give you a chance to evolve within reasonable price limits.
    Now is the time when Apple will face Windows shoulder to shoulder with no “superior” hardware.
    With this flat playing field, I guess security and reliability will make or brake Apple.
    Anyway, APPLE will still be able to fill the space left empty by SONY, when sony goes under.
    Crazy?…
    well…
    isn´t the iPod the walkman of the 21st century?
    Aren´t Apple’s toys slick?
    Isn´t Jobs on the board of Disney?
    They (apple) just need to have a really big Apple 1080i plasma and a HD-DVD or BluRay capable mac mini to have the central spot on the living room. From there it´s just a step…
    to sum it up: they just need to gain mass market brand awareness…
    think about it…

  2. nick says:

    John please forward Joao’s information to Leo for reprogramming.
    Mac is God….God is Great……end of transmission. 😉

  3. Eideard says:

    “[Apple] expects security researchers to wait indefinitely to release the vulnerabilities and offers no incentive for them to do so” — sounds more like extortion to me.

  4. nathaniel says:

    John FUDvorak will get spam before I get a Mac virus.

  5. Chris says:

    Not sure the above comment got through but what the hell…

    Over here in the Land of Oz, I recently spoke to the author of the ZDNet article. Whilst possible over-emphasing (like most media) the issue, it was correctly pointed out that Apple do not really have a great “audit” process. This has been a bitch amongst some Apple software programmers for years, who have uncovered (usually by accident) flaws in the OS’s security.

    I will be curious to see if any testing has been done to actually exploit these issues.

    The security bloke does have it right though – if Apple is perceived by certain persons or groups to be the next Microsoft, or even remotely abusing some standard run-of-the-mill capitalist ideology, they will start to try and hack away.

  6. Bob says:

    nathaniel. You know as well as I do that John gets no spam. Also, you may not get a mac virus but they will apear. I have never gotten a windows virus but I know they exist. Im sure you are a safe surfer and will not have to worry anyway. Remember, morons are industrious.

  7. Floyd says:

    I own and like my iPod. My laptop runs Windows XP and runs iTunes, among many other Windows applications. I’m not a Windows fanatic or an iPod fanatic, and don’t see any problem with this, unlike some posters. Use the right tool for the job…

    Apple systems run a customized version of BSD Unix with a non-standard user interface (I don’t think it’s based on XWindows, but someone can correct me if I’m wrong), for which relatively few commercial applications exist, so I’ve never owned a Mac. Apparently Apple has been less than careful in searching for and fixing security bugs in BSD, so I have another reason to not buy a Mac right now.

  8. steve says:

    That so called bug was patched several months ago. And the only way it could have been exploited is if someone has physical access to the computer.

  9. SignOfZeta says:

    When someone actually starts exploiting these flaws, then I’ll care. That’s assuming the flaws aren’t fixed before the exploits become popular.

    Personally, and I think this goes for a lot of people, I’m not interested in a “flaw”, unless it stands at least a small chance in hell of actually affecting me.

    For example, this “dsidentity” flaw. The malicious user seems to need to actually have physical accesses to the machine. Shit, IMO that’s not not much of a flaw.

  10. Billy Bob says:

    This story seems to get rehashed every few months and the same lines get tossed back and forth. Once Mac OS X gets more of a user base, viruses will exploDE on thE MACS OMG!! Windows still requires no effort to install malicious programs, however, and by comparison Mac OS X at least asks for an admin password.

    Also, the comment on TWiT from Dvorak about how Windows is getting more robust or something due to the Windows exploits ?!?! – I’m not buying that one – Virus writing and spyware has no slowed down a bit, and probably never will as long as the fundamental architecture of Windows remains unchanged.


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