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But OS X users remain adamant that their system is highly secure and much less likely to suffer than a Windows system

Circulating reports are saying that Apple users have their first major case of malware infecting OS X. Understandably, OS X users rarely -- if ever -- have to worry about viruses and spyware running rampant on their systems. A number of factors of course, contribute to this. First of all, OS X is based entirely on a different OS architecture with entirely different security models than Windows XP. The second factor is that OS X isn't as widely used. A lot of power users argue that even if OS X was as popular, infection rates would hardly change simply because of the fact that OS X is considered to be a "superior" OS, containing a myriad of UNIX/Linux features not found on a Windows environment.

The malware, classified as a worm, appears to be an instant-messaging worm that anti-virus outfit Sophos calls OSX/Leap-A. According to Sophos, OSX/Leap-A deletes files from a user's computer and leaves other files behind.

Some aliases that OSX/Leap-A is known under are:
  • CME-4
  • MacOS/Leap
  • MacOS/Leap!tgz
  • OSX.Leap.A
  • OSX/Leap
Windows users on the other hand face spyware, viruses, trojans, and a heap of other software and system attacks on a daily basis.

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In a way....
By cscpianoman on 2/16/2006 2:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
In a way I'm not surprised. Someone, somewhere, somehow would have figured out how to program something for OSX.

OSX at the moment is infinitely more secure compared to Windows, but it's not 100% secure; this malware proves that. There is no way to have a 100% secure system.

I suspect that now someone has done it; another will follow. Probably at a slower pace than Windows, but I can guarantee there will be more to follow.

RE: In a way....
By Stoene on 2/16/2006 2:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps, the arts'y types that use Mac's are just not good at writing malware/virus/spyware programs.

RE: In a way....
By aguilpa1 on 2/16/2006 3:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
no OS is secure,

Mac people like to be different under the pretext of being "artistic"....whatever, they don't realize how technically illiterate they are making themselves by hiding behind "pretty" overpriced non-upgradable boxes.

Computers are technological marvels meant to be understood and examined in depth, not appliances to hide behind.

RE: In a way....
By Homerboy on 2/16/2006 3:31:10 PM , Rating: 1
haha this is some of the funniest crap I've read in a long time. Keep these replies coming!

RE: In a way....
By aguilpa1 on 2/16/2006 3:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
you make as much sense as a pompous waiter...

RE: In a way....
By Questar on 2/16/2006 3:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Computers are technological marvels meant to be understood and examined in depth, not appliances to hide behind.


Cars are technological marvels that I couldn't care less about understanding in depth. Push the gas, it goes, push the brake it stops.

PCS networks technological marvels that I couldn't care less about understanding in depth. Dial a number, a few seconds later I'm talking to someone.

Computers are "meant" to be examined in depth. They are tools.

RE: In a way....
By Questar on 2/16/2006 3:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
Bah, when do we get edit functions?

Computers are NOT meant to be studied in depth.

RE: In a way....
By hiscross on 2/16/2006 3:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is nuts. Computers wirk for people, not the other way around. Just because the world has accepted the unnecessary complexity of most systems is a reflection of them. Mac peopke learned long ago that Mac's work for them, not the other way. I'm typing this on a Dell winxpsp2 so I know the difference (I'm using someone elses system, if won't waste a penny of my own money on this thing).I also agree that all OS's can be hacked. It's just so simple to do on windows grade school kids do it all the time.

RE: In a way....
By slashbinslashbash on 2/16/2006 8:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I agree that no OS is secure. Not even OpenBSD.

Not all Mac users are "artistic" and some of us have arrived back at Macs after years of putting together our own PCs with Windows and Linux OSes, and finally figuring out that we like the prettiness and Unix-ness of OSX. I don't know how building a PC from the ground up gives you "in depth" knowledge or understanding of a computer. OSX actually makes it a lot easier to program and hack around with the OS, which is where the *real* "in depth" computer knowledge comes... not in "RAM goes in this slot, hard drive plugs in here."

Plus, those who just want an appliance will get it. No muss, no fuss. It just works. You pay a bit more, but for that you get wireless networking that "just works" with none of that constant system tray popping up BS that you seem to get 50% of the time with Windows wireless networking. You get *real* GPU's (ATI 9200 w/ 32MB VRAM on the $500 Mac mini) instead of Intel Integrated Crapola900 with shared RAM.

Plus I don't know what you mean by non-upgradable. Macs use, and have always used, the same RAM and hard drives used in PC systems (sometimes with slight variations, e.g. SCSI drives when PCs were using IDE, or RAM with certain CAS timings). Video cards and CPU's have been problematic and only available in niche markets, but with the new Intel-based Macs the CPU's will be easily upgradable, and maybe (although this might be too much to wish for) they will accept normal video cards as well, or dual Mac/PC video cards will become more prevalent. In any case, Macs use the exact same GPU's, they just require slightly different video BIOS/firmware/whatever.

RE: In a way....
By Plasmoid on 2/16/2006 8:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
OS's with no I/O at all or completly secure so there.

No real world widely compatible and fully featured OS is 100% secure but its not for lack of trying. Its more down to the way the internet, communication protocols and ease of use is integrated together.

I have no doubt a less fully features, working on only certain hardware and awkward to use OS could be 100% secure, but of course no one would use it.

Im guessing Mac OS being secure is a combination of no one to infect making it less wortwhile to make a virus for and of course hackers not having Mac's to actually test and code on. Now if somone started making a virus that could be ported to any OS easily...

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