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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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I wouldn't feel so confident.
By bunnyfubbles on 2/16/2006 3:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
But OS X users remain adamant that their system is highly secure and much less likely to suffer than a Windows system

The main reason OSX has been more secure has been because it hasn't been targeted (less users = less reason to try and exploit them). The more people adopt Apple/OSX the more they come under fire.

If and only if Apple can gain significant ground on windows would I make a claim either way on seccurity. However until then I wouldn't feel so safe with OSX. Why? Well if I get a problem with windows, chances are I'm not the first and someone already has found a solution. Second, there's all the wonderful programs out there to deal with such problems...crapcleaner, spybot, adaware, MS antispyware, spyware blaster, antivir...all free to boot. Where do you even begin with OSX?

I've got an older G3 iBook and I've never worried about malware, and I probably won't have to because I don't use it like I do my desktop, mostly for note taking in classes and other light work with little browsing. But if I did have to use it more I guess I'd have to take the time to really know my way around OSX and the online community to find ways to fix such problems if they did happen to me, or do happen to me because I guess I'm not invulnerable to them even though I think I'm pretty safe.

RE: I wouldn't feel so confident.
By Araxen on 2/16/2006 4:14:12 PM , Rating: 1
The main reason why there isn't as much malware and such is that they were on a RISC processor not a x86 processor. I expect to see more malware and such on OS X as Apple's Intel Mac's become more prevelant.

RE: I wouldn't feel so confident.
By andrep74 on 2/16/2006 5:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
Flame bait? Or are you just that ignorant? WTF does RISC vs. CISC have to do with it??? It's the platform , not the architecture. You could argue that CISC chips of ten years ago are more RISC than most RISC chips are today; yet there were still more vulnerabilities in the popular platforms than the lesser-used ones (there were more vulnerabilities in the less-complex CISC chips running Windows 95 than there are for today's more complex RISC chips running OS/X).

The TI-89 OS is less secure than Windows, but there aren't any worms written for that platform (which is based on a MC68000, btw). The truth is, Windows has so many exploits because it's both easy to exploit and it's a popular platform.

RE: I wouldn't feel so confident.
By plinden on 2/16/2006 11:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
Where's the rolls-eyes icon?

If you read about it, you would see that this malware was written for the PPC processor. It doesn't affect the Intel/Universal binary applications

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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