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

Today in Techrights

Edubuntu Vs UberStudent: Return To College With The Best Linux Distro

Importantly, there are a handful of programs that are on Edubuntu that UberStudent doesn’t have, such as KAlgebra, Kazium, KGeography, and Marble. Instead, UberStudent has a smaller collection of applications but it does include some useful items when it comes to writing papers that Edubuntu does not have. So ultimately, Edubuntu includes more programs that are information-heavy, while UberStudent includes more tools that can aid students in their studies but doesn’t directly give them any sort of information. Read more

Zotac Nvidia Jetson TK1 review

The Jetson TK1, Nvidia’s first development board to be marketed at the general public, has taken a circuitous route to our shores. Unveiled at the company’s Graphics Technology Conference earlier this year, the board launched in the US at a headline-grabbing price of $192 but its international release was hampered by export regulations. Zotac, already an Nvidia partner for its graphics hardware, volunteered to sort things out and has partnered with Maplin to bring the board to the UK. In doing so, however, the price has become a little muddled. $192 – a clever dollar per GPU core – has become £199.99. Compared to Maplin’s other single-board computer, the sub-£30 Raspberry Pi, it’s a high-end item that could find itself priced out of the reach of the company’s usual customers. Read more

New Human Interface Guidelines for GNOME and GTK+

I’ve recently been hard at work on a new and updated version of the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines, and am pleased to announce that this will be ready for the upcoming 3.14 release. Over recent years, application design has evolved a huge amount. The web and native applications have become increasingly similar, and new design patterns have become the norm. During that period, those of us in the GNOME Design Team have worked with developers to expand the range of GTK+’s capabilities, and the result is a much more modern toolkit. Read more