Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple's Intel switch doesn't spell security doom

Filed under
Mac

Apple's switch to Intel chips does not spell the start of Windows PC-style security problems for Macs, experts say.

Macs will have the same hardware at their core as Windows PCs but it is the operating system, not the hardware, that has made those Microsoft-based computers vulnerable to attacks, analysts and security researchers said.

Dana Gardner, a senior analyst at research firm the Yankee Group, said: "Mac OS has generally a better track record and reputation than Windows for security. I don't think taking Mac OS to Intel silicon would change the robustness of the operating system."

The Mac OS enjoys a reputation as a secure operating system, with far fewer flaws than Windows. So far, it has largely been immune to the worms and viruses that have hit Microsoft-based systems. That is unlikely to change with the shift announced on Monday from niche Power PC processors to mainstream Intel hardware.

Theoretically, though, it is possible that security flaws in lower-level system software could be used to attack both Windows and Mac computers, several security experts said. However, such attacks, for example on the system BIOS, are rare. Furthermore, it is not known if Apple will use the same low-level software common in Windows PCs, the experts said.

Another unknown is to what level Intel will customise its chip products for Apple.

Russ Cooper, a senior scientist at security provider Cybertrust of Herndon, said: "The fact that Macs are running the same processors as Windows PCs may mean that some code can be executed on both platforms. But I don't think that virus writers are writing at that level, so it is probably not going to have any security implications."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Security and Bugs

  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Devops embraces security measures to build safer software
    Devops isn’t simply transforming how developers and operations work together to deliver better software faster, it is also changing how developers view application security. A recent survey from software automation and security company Sonatype found that devops teams are increasingly adopting security automation to create better and safer software.
  • This Xfce Bug Is Wrecking Users’ Monitors
    The Xfce desktop environment for Linux may be fast and flexible — but it’s currently affected by a very serious flaw. Users of this lightweight alternative to GNOME and KDE have reported that the choice of default wallpaper in Xfce is causing damaging to laptop displays and LCD monitors. And there’s damning photographic evidence to back the claims up.

BSD: iXsystems and DragonFlyBSD

  • iXsystems Sees Record Growth in 2016, Charges Into 2017
    The FreeNAS Mini XL was also added, aimed at bringing enterprise-grade storage technology to the small office and home office user
  • VGA-Switcheroo Ported From Linux To DragonFlyBSD
    The latest DRM/graphics-related porting effort by François Tigeot in the DragonFly space is bringing over the vga_swticheroo module from the Linux kernel. François Tigeot continues doing a good job porting Linux DRM drivers over to DragonFlyBSD and getting them close to the state where they are with the mainline Linux Git tree. His latest effort is about getting VGA-Switcheroo working on DragonFly.

KDE/Qt: Qt 5.9.0 beta and Krita

GNOME and GTK News

  • GNOME ED Update – Week 12
    In case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a new GNOME release – 3.24! The release is the result of 6 months’ work by the GNOME community.
  • GTK hackfest 2017: D-Bus communication with containers
    At the GTK hackfest in London (which accidentally became mostly a Flatpak hackfest) I've mainly been looking into how to make D-Bus work better for app container technologies like Flatpak and Snap.
  • GNOME 3.24 Linux Desktop Environment Released | Here Are The New Features
    The GNOME Project has released the latest stable version of their open source desktop environment. GNOME 3.24, codenamed Portland, is here after 6 months of development and 28459 changes. Some of the biggest features of GNOME 3.24 are Night Light, improved notifications, new Recipes and Games application, two GPU support, etc.