Although Mac OS X has remained virtually free of any large-scale virus or malware outbreaks, according to a report released by security firm Secunia the operating system ranks at the top of the most vulnerabilities chart in terms of the sheer number of exploits available.
Mac OS has remained relatively untouched by major viruses and hacking efforts in the past, as most ne’er-do-wells may have considered the operating system’s market share and thus potential for private information less enticing than those of Microsoft’s Windows. With the rise of Mac market share and the popularity of the iPhone, however, there is little doubt that Apple platforms will become major malware targets in the near future.
Surely this is rather unbelievable to most people, who expected to escape from Microsoft security vulnerability hell by switching to Mac OS X. Apparently the numbers do not lie, however I cannot help but feel the numbers are somewhat off.
I own a Mac at home but administer Windows XP at work, insofar as I am a network security professional whose job is to protect the network from bad guys and evil corporations incapable of adequately programming their software. Thinking back over the last couple years, I cannot fathom how Secunia came to the conclusion that Apple has a higher number of vulnerabilities than Microsoft. It is unbelievable, especially considering the large number of Windows patches I am required to push out on a monthly basis. Contrast that to the number of Apple patches I’ve installed on my home laptop and it just feels like the scales are tipped towards Microsoft by a large margin.
Check out the report for the full details.
Update: I failed to seize the opportunity to dissect the crappy Secunia report, but AppleInsider has taken charge, clearly dismantling the claims that Apple has the highest number of vulnerabilities. It is a wonderful read and is essentially the article I should have written.