Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple's Intel switch doesn't spell security doom

Filed under
Mac

Apple's switch to Intel chips does not spell the start of Windows PC-style security problems for Macs, experts say.

Macs will have the same hardware at their core as Windows PCs but it is the operating system, not the hardware, that has made those Microsoft-based computers vulnerable to attacks, analysts and security researchers said.

Dana Gardner, a senior analyst at research firm the Yankee Group, said: "Mac OS has generally a better track record and reputation than Windows for security. I don't think taking Mac OS to Intel silicon would change the robustness of the operating system."

The Mac OS enjoys a reputation as a secure operating system, with far fewer flaws than Windows. So far, it has largely been immune to the worms and viruses that have hit Microsoft-based systems. That is unlikely to change with the shift announced on Monday from niche Power PC processors to mainstream Intel hardware.

Theoretically, though, it is possible that security flaws in lower-level system software could be used to attack both Windows and Mac computers, several security experts said. However, such attacks, for example on the system BIOS, are rare. Furthermore, it is not known if Apple will use the same low-level software common in Windows PCs, the experts said.

Another unknown is to what level Intel will customise its chip products for Apple.

Russ Cooper, a senior scientist at security provider Cybertrust of Herndon, said: "The fact that Macs are running the same processors as Windows PCs may mean that some code can be executed on both platforms. But I don't think that virus writers are writing at that level, so it is probably not going to have any security implications."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • OVS 2.6 and The First Release of OVN
    In January of 2015, the Open vSwitch team announced that they planned to start a new project within OVS called OVN (Open Virtual Network). The timing could not have been better for me as I was looking around for a new project. I dove in with a goal of figuring out whether OVN could be a promising next generation of Open vSwitch integration for OpenStack and have been contributing to it ever since. OVS 2.6.0 has now been released which includes the first non-experimental version of OVN. As a community we have also built integration with OpenStack, Docker, and Kubernetes.
  • RcppCNPy 0.2.6
  • Markoshiki
  • gcbd 0.2.6
    A pure maintenance release 0.2.6 of the gcbd package is now on CRAN. The gcbd proposes a benchmarking framework for LAPACK and BLAS operations (as the library can exchanged in a plug-and-play sense on suitable OSs) and records result in local database. Recent / upcoming changes to DBMI and RSQLite let me to update the package; there are no actual functionality changes in this release.
  • Udisks Indicator Makes Monitoring and Mounting Drives Easy on Ubuntu
    Want to get quick, at-a-glance details about your connected drives while on Ubuntu? A new indicator applet aims to help. UDisks-Indicator is a small panel-based applet that shows disk usage information about mounted partitions.
  • Skype for Linux Alpha 1.9 released with dark theme support and more
    Microsoft today released a new update of Skype for Linux users. Skype for Linux Alpha 1.9 comes with dark theme support, the ability to mute notifications and more. Read the full change log below.
  • Open source tool uses PowerShell to enable vSphere infrastructure as code [Ed: Microsoft ‘open’ code already being used to promote proprietary software with back doors]

PostgreSQL 9.6 Released

  • PostgreSQL 9.6 released
    PostgreSQL 9.6, the latest version of the world's leading open source database, was released today by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. This release will allow users to both scale up and scale out high performance database workloads. New features include parallel query, synchronous replication improvements, phrase search, and improvements to performance and usability, as well as many more features.
  • PostgreSQL 9.6 Officially Released With Parallel Query Support

How I Use Android: Android Central Editor Emeritus Phil Nickinson

In the meantime, I was able to convince Phil to step out of his metaphorical kitchen for a few minutes to chat about how he uses Android in his day-to-day life. This is a man who has seen and used practically every Android device over the past several years, after all -- and a fair number of apps and customization tools, to boot. So what devices does someone with so much knowledge carry around in his own trousers, and how does he make the most of what they have to offer? Enough with the suspense already. In his own words, this is how Phil Nickinson uses Android. Read more