Mac OS X Emerges as New Hacker Challenge

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-10 Print this article Print

5. Where's the security software?

Unfortunately, there are very few security solutions available to Mac OS X users. For the most part, if users are concerned with the security of the operating system, they will need to either dig around themselves to find problems or turn a blind eye. Even those security programs that do exist for Mac OS X users tend to be less than capable. It's unfortunate. And it might be putting Mac OS X users at risk.

6. Apple seems to perpetuate the myth

Perhaps the worst problem with Mac OS X security is Apple itself. The company has very little information on its site about the security of its operating system. It's not even providing security software of its own to supplement the features it built into the operating system. And while I would agree that Mac OS X is inherently more secure than Windows, the degree to which it's more secure is debatable. Apple needs to take a more active tack when it comes to OS security.

7. Attacks are on the rise

A few years ago, the very idea of Mac OS X being affected by security problems was almost unheard of. That isn't true any longer. Today, more attacks than ever are impacting the operating system. So far, they haven't been able to cause widespread damage. But is it only a matter of time before one (or a few) will?

8. Snow Leopard obviously has holes

If nothing else, the recent update proves that Snow Leopard has some holes that need to be patched. Granted, all these holes are now protected, but what about the others that Apple and security vendors have yet to find? If Apple is updating an operating system with over 40 security patches, that should sound an alarm for most users. What other issues are affecting the operating system that we don't know about yet? It's a real concern.

9. Windows is getting more secure

A few years ago, breaking into Windows and wreaking havoc was much easier than it is today. With the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has done a much better job of securing its operating system. It's not perfect, for sure, but it is now more difficult for malicious hackers to make their way into the OS. That might cause some of those hackers to turn their attention to Apple. The more people who attack Mac OS X, the greater the chances of something getting through.

10. Hackers seem to stay ahead

As much as I hate to say it, right now, the security community is still trying to catch up to malicious hackers. Too often, hackers are finding their way into operating systems and we're left wondering how we will keep ourselves safe. The longer the security community lags behind the hackers, the more trouble they will cause. It's only a matter of time before that filters down to Apple users. It's unfortunate, but true.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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