Eureka! Macs Are Not Invulnerable

 
 
By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2003-12-10
 
 
 

I know this is wrong, but in one respect I was happy to learn earlier this month about the discovery of a significant security hole in the Jaguar and Panther versions (10.2 and 10.3, respectively) of the Apple operating system. I was tired of the "We use Macs because they dont get attacked by viruses and hackers" refrain from Mac nuts. I generally counter with what is apparently a secret carefully hidden from Mac zealots: "Thats because only a fraction of the world uses Macs. Whats the point of attacking a niche market? No one will notice!" But the mindlessly superior retort is always the same, "No, its because the Apple OS does not have the same holes as Windows. OS X is just a better operating system." Given this recent development, my question is, "Will you be stuffing that superior attitude in your crow or eating it separately, sir?"

This is a significant hole. The original report, found on Carrel.org puts a frightening spin on the problem: "A series of seemingly innocuous default settings can cause an affected Mac OS X machine to trust a malicious machine on a network for user, group, and volume mounting settings." So an attacker who can gain access to your network—over a wired connection or wirelessly—can trick an affected system into trusting a rogue machine, and when the compromised machine reboots, take it over and even attack other systems on the network.

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