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stevescivic 10-12-2006 03:35 AM

os x unix base security issues?
So I have been plodding around the internet looking up articles on unix and learning about it more. I've been a windows user for over 10 years and we all know how bad windows security is. Unix is touted as being superior but I have read some articles that raise controversy on the actual safety of os X.

Despite it being a unix based operating system is it at least or better than a straight linux/unix equipped computer?

The articles I read state that OS X actually exhibited less number of security vulnerabilities but were significantly worse on degree of vulnerability. If I recall it was reported by a scandanavian internet security company?

Can an expert here explain the significant differences both good and bad between raw unix and apple os x?


MacsWork 10-12-2006 07:20 AM

I'm not an expert, but,....

Unix is the back end of OS X. It does what the front end tells it to, and sometimes does it with out being told. It really comes down to the end user.

Most larger industries today take the security issues away from the end user by implementing network defenses, and server side monitoring. Leaving most SMB, SOHO and home users to deal with the onslaught.

Any end user can give themselves a virus or run exploiting code on there machines. The idea is to get educated.

Mac OS X however doesn't do the best job when it comes to educating end users. Rather than confuse the out of you like Windows prefers to do. Mac OS X just does it's thing and leaves the questions up to you and the internet.

It is safe and secure, just like windows can be. The more holes you open, the more holes you need to monitor.

stevescivic 10-13-2006 02:19 AM

Mac OS X security
Thanks for the reply.

In the end my only concern are the following:

Out of the box using a wireless network (using WPA encryption with a very complicated key), a router with firewall, and virex is all I am using.

Mac OS X is updated to the latest update release and I have set my admin password for installing my apps. I use MS Entourage and I use Safari/firefox for the bulk of my work on the internet. I don't game and I don't run any FTP services.

So basically my Mac is operating out of the box and my concern is that as long as I don't do anything I shouldn't be then would it be reasonable to assume that I'm relatively safe with what I have set up?


MacsWork 10-13-2006 07:15 AM


Keep in mind that OS X will ask you for a password to do anything administrative. There are proof of concept trojans as rare as they are, that disguise themselves as images for instance. If you open a jpeg and it asks for a password don't do it.

stevescivic 10-13-2006 07:46 PM

Security issues
That's good to know about the whole jpeg thingy. I honestly don't think I would be silly enough to enter in a password to open a picture but then again I've done some stupid things when I was half asleep.

Thanks for the tip!

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