The Black Hat security conference brought quite a few shockers, but personally, I don’t find Alex Stamos finding that OS X is less secure than Windows 7 to be one of those.
The team Stamos assembled found that issues with user privilege traversing remains a problem in both operating systems. They showed that OS X had more points of failure than Windows 7. They also noted that with the release of Lion, the gap between the two is closing.
The reason I find this study a bit lacklustre is all about core audience. Apple, while it does offer a server solution, aims their sites at creative individuals, whereas Microsoft makes a bulk of its OS income from corporations and establishing network infrastructures. With that in mind, it’s no wonder Microsoft puts up a bigger wall and pays closer attention to security.
They have more to lose.
This, paired with the massive market share it holds should mean that Microsoft is a bigger target. They have to stay on their toes. OS X simply doesn’t get attacked as much, thus not all of the holes have been found.
I don’t feel that this is an excuse for Apple to slack off. I think security needs to be the first thought of every software company out there. That being said, Windows has undoubtedly closed more security holes because they’ve actually been exploited and documented.
I don’t know many people that would argue that both companies react pseudo slowly to published exploits, but strides are being made in both corners.
The report also touched briefly on mobile offerings and admitted that iOS provides a security advantage over most other operating systems due to their app sandboxes. The report also mentioned that Android fell short and was compared to the security of a jailbroken iPhone, which has security methods stripped due to the nature of jailbreaking.
Source: Network World
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