tyler butler

Computer Security X-Ray Specs

IT security consultant Rich Mogull gives some tips for seeing through the BS in security press releases. It’s aimed at the Mac community, but it has some insightful info that applies across the board. In particular, I like his even- handed evaluation of the relative security of both Windows and OS X:

For many years Mac OS X did have an inherent security advantage over Windows, but to those who understand the technologies within the operating systems, those days are long past.

The latest version of Windows (Vista, not that most people use it) is provably more secure in the lab than the latest version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Leopard lacks proper implementation of the new anti-exploitation technologies included in Vista, and, based on the number of Apple security patches, experiences about as many vulnerabilities.

When I see articles that defend Mac OS X based on the lack of Mac-specific malicious software, and not on current technical capabilities, cybercrime dynamics, or attack methods, I tend to be dubious.