'As a result, Mac users are generally immune to the incessant security
problems plaguing their Windows counterparts, and that somehow bothers
PC Magazine columnist Lance Ulanoff.

In a December 11 column [1] that epitomizes the concept of yellow
journalism, he's "happy" that Mac OS X is vulnerable to a new and
quite significant security vulnerability. The article was based on a
security advisory by researcher William Carrel regarding a DHCP
vulnerability in Mac OS X. Carrel reported the vulnerability to Apple
in mid-October and, through responsible disclosure practices, waited
for a prolonged period before releasing the exploit information
publicly since Apple was slow in responding to Carrel's report (a
common problem with all big software vendors.) Accordingly, Lance
took this as a green light to launch into a snide tirade about how
"Mac OS is just as vulnerable as Microsoft Windows" while penning
paragraph after paragraph saying "I told you so" and calling anyone
who disagrees with him a "Mac zealot."

The real security wisdom of Mac OS lies in its internal architecture
and how the operating system works and interacts with
applications. It's also something Microsoft unfortunately can't
accomplish without a complete re-write of the Windows software --
starting with ripping out the bug-riddled Internet Explorer that
serves as the Windows version of "Finder." (That alone would
seriously improve Windows security, methinks.)

At the very least, from the all-important network perspective, unlike
Windows, Mac OS X ships with nearly all internet services turned off
by default. Place an out-of-the-box Mac OS X installation on a
network, and an attacker doesn't have much to target in trying to
compromise your system. A default installation of Windows, on the
other hand, shows up like a big red bulls-eye on a network with
numerous network services enabled and running.* And, unlike Windows,
with Mac OS X, there's no hard-to-disable (for average users afraid to
tweak things unfamiliar to them, that is) "Messaging Services" that
results in spam-like advertisements coming into the system by way of
Windows-based pop-up message boxes. And, the Unix-based Mac OS X
system firewall - simple enough protection for most users -- is
enabled by default (in Mac OSX Server) and easy to find and configure
in Mac OS X Client software (not that there's much that users need to
worry about out-of-the-box anyway) -- something that Microsoft only
recently realized was a good idea and acknowledged should be done in
Windows clients as well. I guess Lance didn't hear about that,

Further, as seen in recent years, Microsoft used the guise of a
critical security fix for its Media Player to forcibly inject
controversial Digital Rights Management (DRM) into customer
systems.[2] Users were free to not run the patch and avoid DRM on
their systems, but if they wanted to be secure, they had to accept
monopoly-enforcing DRM technologies and allow Microsoft to update such
systems at any time in the future.

What does that say about trusting an operating system's ability to
perform in a stable and secure manner? Windows users should wonder
who's really in control of their systems these days. But Lance is
oblivious to this, and happy to exist in such an untrustworthy
computing environment.

Trustworthy computing must be more than a catchy marketing
phrase. Ironically, despite a few hiccups along the way, it's becoming
clear that Mac OS, not Windows, epitomizes Microsoft's new mantra of
"secure by design, default, and deployment."'


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0000AD1D. The current application will be terminated.