Monday, March 9, 2009

Hackers Zeros in on Apple

For many years, Windows has been the target for the majority of the hacker community.  Because of this many alternative operating systems claimed that they were safer than Windows.  The truth of the matter is that there are just too few people using alternative operating systems to make it worth it for hackers.

OSXLeopard Look at it this way.  About 90% of people who use computers use some version of Microsoft Windows.  Apple’s Mac OS has 9.61% of the operating system.  The other less than 2% is split among the many versions of Unix and Linux.  Why would a hacker waste his time breaking into an operating system that .5% of people use?  It’s more logical to do something that would cause the most amount of damage and open the most number of computers to pillage.

OS Market Share

That said, hackers are either getting tired of Windows or the security is getting better because Apple has been coming under more attacks in recently.  There have been several bugs that targeted Mac OS.  In recent news, it has been announced that Apple’s browser, Safari, is vulnerable.

Apple_Safari The annual hacker contest Pwn2Own is almost here.  Charlie Miller, last year’s winner, said that Apple’s Safari would be “easy pickings”.  He predicted that 4 people would be able to crack the browser.  This does not bode well for Apple, especially in light of their recent release of Safari 4 beta.  This is also bad news for Windows people who use Safari.  It will give hackers a back-door into Windows.

My advice: Apple should stop boasting about the performance and features of both their operating system and browser.  Instead they should hire some of these hackers to help them tighten up security in their products.