Windows More Secure than Mac

By Michael Flanakin @ 6:26 AM :: 3354 Views :: Technology :: Digg it!

Here's some pretty big news, if you ask me: security researcher Dino Dai Zovi Mobile-ready link has declared Windows Vista as being hands-down more secure than Mac OS 10.4 Mobile-ready link. I have to say I'm not surprised. I think the Apple community has been blindly professing Mac as being more secure simply because there aren't as many publicized exploits -- although, two big sets of security patches coming from Apple in the past month or so might shed some light on the vulnerabilities that are lying dormant. Let's face it, tho, a system with 100 users isn't going to be worth a hacker's time as much as a system with 100,000 users. Admittedly, I don't know the real numbers, but it is a huge difference. I want to say Windows has just under 90% of the desktop market while Mac has less than 5%. Who would you go after? Yeah, I thought so.

Despite the numbers, I'm glad to see a completely independent view. I'm sure there will be plenty more in the coming months and years. With the next release of Mac expected by the end of the year and Windows in 2008 (my personal guess), I see security coming up again. I think the real issue is that Microsoft learned a lot from past experiences and has changed for the better. People won't see that for a while, tho. Perhaps this is the first step in that direction.

Here's a brief quote on what Dino said regarding Windows vs. Mac security...

I have found the code quality, at least in terms of security, to be much better overall in Vista than Mac OS X 10.4. It is obvious from observing affected components in security patches that Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) has resulted in fewer vulnerabilities in newly-written code. I hope that more software vendors follow their lead in developing proactive software security development methodologies.

You may be interested in some of the other questions/answers from the interview, but this is what I found the most noteworthy. Now, I'm looking forward to hearing reactions of some of the Apple community. I'm sure they'll dismiss it, but it should be entertaining to see how this plays out.