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Want Security? Make The Switch 549

Lord_Slepnir writes "Security firm Sophos Security has released a report claiming that Macs will be more secure than Windows for some time to come. The report listed the 10 most common kinds of malware, and noted that they can only infect Windows systems."
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Want Security? Make The Switch

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  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:50AM (#15659708)
    Microsoft has pledged that the latest version of its operating system, known as Vista, will be its most secure yet.

    • Win95 - There weren't even any doors or windows in the house
    • Win98 - They installed doors & windows, but left them all open
    • WinME - They accidentally broke the glass out of the windows
    • WinXP - They fixed & shut the windows, but the door was left open
    • WinVista - They shut the doors & windows, but still forgot to lock them
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:51AM (#15659713)
    I love my mac, but articles like this are somewhat misleading. Surely the reason the top 10 pieces of malware are Windows only isn't something as mundane as the 90% / 10% market saturation of windows vs. Mac devices. Even if the same malware app was on ever single mac connected to the net, it still wouldn't show up in this top 10.
  • Why Bother? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by argo747 ( 935004 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:52AM (#15659724)
    Why would I write a piece of malware that would only target a small segment of the market? If one wanted to further one's nefarious plans wouldn't it be smart to go after the biggest slice of the pie?
  • Call home (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:53AM (#15659728) Homepage
    The first and foremost thing MS should do to make Windows more secure is to disable the call home when installing WinXP. From the moment it logs in, it is prone to attack and the user is left defenseless upto the moment installation is completed and a zillion trojans have had ample time to install. Atleast make it so the call home is performed AFTER I had the chance to install a virusscanner and firewall.
  • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:52AM (#15660024) Homepage Journal
    And again you're making that assumption that computers are used primarly for business. Anyone who uses a computer for business has missed the point entirely. See my profile and you'll understand why.
  • by Techguy666 ( 759128 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:56AM (#15660052)
    We use Sophos at our workplace. I also use other antivirus and antispyware - often to clean up the crap that Sophos doesn't find. Speaking as someone who's familiar with Sophos, I think it's curious that Sophos is telling home users to consider buying Macs. Go to Sophos' website ( and try to find a home user product... They don't seem to promote any.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would think this is a warning shot aimed at Microsoft because of MS' sudden focus on security, to the detriment of companies such as Sophos; send Microsoft's small clientle to the enemy - it's no skin off of Sophos' corporate nose. As a PR exercise, Sophos otherwise just released a piece of fluff. They're talking to an audience that they don't serve or interact with.
  • by BBlinkk ( 985908 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @11:50AM (#15660463) [] Pretty sure macs have their fair share of security holes, they just havent been widely exploited yet.
  • Market Pressure (Score:3, Interesting)

    by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:18PM (#15660640)
    With every single PC vendor invested in the idea of destroying Apple, I don't see Apple being able to win a war of minds/marketing.

    The only person really invested in Apple succeeding is Apple. Dell, HP, Best Buy, Gateway, AMD and many many more have a huge investment in being able to sell computers and computer components. Unless you're on Apple's "in" list of mandated components, you don't want to see a closed architecture win. To some degree Intel moving to the apple platform will at least bring on giant to their defense, but it's a small step in the long run.
  • Re:However.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @12:34PM (#15660761)
    And Windows XP defaultly does the same thing with anything you download. Exploites to run the software automatically can happen, but there is no reason this also couldn't happen on a Mac. A user that will download anything from a IM or email their "friends" sent them will just confirm either way depending on what system they are running.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @01:31PM (#15661127) Journal
    Had you considered the possibility that we might actually prefer Windows, or even think it's better?

    Than what, a sharp stick in the eye?

    BTW, kudos for a great troll. Not worried about security, because you avoid opening mail attachements or viewing some web sites? Priceless!

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @02:08PM (#15661404)

    Considering that most graphic designers don't know much about networking, scripting or coding, they tend to prefer the Mac.

    Does this statement make any sense? OS X has built in scripting interpreters for numerous languages, a functional command line, GUI piping/tranforms/scripts via Automator, free dev tools including gcc. On Windows the user has to install cygwin, which does not even interact with cygwin in any meaningful way. On OS X you can pipe things to and from Photoshop. OS X wins hands down if for no other reason than I can run perl scripts without a huge hassle.

    Aside from that, you make some good points. Different OS's are better for different tasks and different people. I use Linux, OS X, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and Windows XP regularly. The only thing about the previous poster that gives me pause is that based upon their comments, I don't think they've used OS X to try to do their tasks, or if they did they tried to replicate them exactly and do things just how they used to on Windows. It is hard to argue that for basic command line usage or for commercial graphics work is not king of the hill. The level of integration between gui apps and the cli, the ability to see previews of photoshop files and globally search text within them, scripting, system services, and both free and commercial application availability from both open source and commercial sources just makes those workflows so much easier.

    Now Windows certainly has its uses in a lot of areas and is hands down the best for niche application availability in most fields, but I'm suspicious of anyone arguing it for the above uses over OS X.

  • by BiggyP ( 466507 ) <philh@theo[ ] ['pen' in gap]> on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:47PM (#15664263) Homepage Journal
    So what has kept you from running linux for so long then? Wouldn't that solve your malware issues?

    I must say, a well secured windows PC has no reason to become infected, you generally need to sit an idiot down in front of it for that to happen. To make infection even quicker you should explain to them that should not download and install every program advertised on every webpage, this ensures that they ignore your advice and do completely the opposite.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?