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Sophos/Security industry misconceptions July 6, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions, Tech News.
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Sophos recently released a report where they suggest because of Malware and other Windows security shortcomings that users switch to Mac OS X.  They print out a list of the top threats.  eWeek back in January said Apples switch to Intel could allow security exploits. 

Link to Sophos Report
Link to eWeek article

My Take;  I linked to the eWeek article because of the bone headedness of the article.  Any security researcher, or "security" expert that tells you to switch platforms is not a very good researcher and is not much of an expert.  While granted, for the short term you will have a sense of security how long do you think its going to take Malware authors to target Mac OS X if there is a mass defection to the Mac?  Not that long.  Also, your CPU architecture does not protect you because its superior in anyway, its protected by obscurity.  Since no one except 1.2 % of the market ran with PowerPC, probably less now, who wants to really target a dead and more expensive platform. Windows is a problem because it controls over 90% of the market but its not all Microsofts fault.  Its an industry problem.  UNIX and Linux users don’t help at all.  Anyone who runs an e-mail service should invest in an anti-virus solution.  There is only one truly 100% effective anti-virus/anti-malware  solution in the world.  Its totally, 100% free and doesn’t take anytime to set up.  Its called common sense.  Common sense should tell you not to open a word document that comes from George W. Bush, unless of course you know the man personally, or anyone you don’t know.  Common sense should tell you that your bank is not going to e-mail you sensitive private documents and common sense should tell you Bill Gates is not going to send you a screen saver.  Common sense should also tell you that if your anti-virus solution tells you a file is infected not to click "ignore".  I think it was a security researcher at Microsoft’s Bluehat conference that said it best.  For someone to create a 100% secure Operating System, it wouldn’t be able to do much.

Telling someone to switch to Mac OS and or UNIX/Linux is like telling a person that has a cracked skull with an exposed brain to slap a band-aid on it and go back to work.  Its not helping, its not constructive and it sure as hell doesn’t solve anything.

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