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

OpenMediaVault 1.0, a Complete Free NAS Solution You Didn't Know You Needed

As you can expect, there are a ton of free NAS (network attached storage) projects and solutions on Linux (and beyond), but there is always room for one more. OpenMediaVault packs quite a few features and users will most likely find all the options that they will ever need. The OpenMediaVault might have a round and neat version number, but the project has been around for a few years now and it's made by Volker Theile, a former member of FreeNAS, which is another very famous NAS solution. Read more

How Matt's Machine Works

And that is how Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, founder of Automattic, and chairman of The WordPress Foundation, runs 22% of the Internet. Read more

Open-source project promises easy-to-use encryption for email, instant messaging and more

Called "Pretty Easy Privacy" (PEP), the project's goal is to integrate the technology with existing communication tools on different desktop and mobile platforms. The development team launched a preview PEP implementation Monday for the Microsoft Outlook email client, but plans to build similar products to encrypt communications in Android, iOS, Firefox OS, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Jabber, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Twitter. Read more

Samsung Open Source Group’s Linux Kernel Updates and More from LinuxCon

This year's LinuxCon & Kernel Summit North America were notable for several reasons, not the least of which included being able to see the scenic views of downtown Chicago through the hotel lobby windows! Below, the Samsung Open Source Group will share our top highlights of the conferences, as well as look forward to what we can expect from LinuxCon Europe next month in Germany. Read more