Researchers at Black Hat have said that they've found Windows 7's Enterprise security to be better than that of Apple's OS X operating system.
The problems for OS X seem to stem from user privileges. While Windows 7 isn't perfect, OS X seems to have more "soft spots" according to a report by Network World. "OS X networks are significantly more vulnerable to network privilege escalation" according to the researchers, who went on to say that "almost every OS X server service offers weak or broken authentication mechanisms."
This news will come as a shock to some and a surprise to many. While Apple still maintain that there is no malware threat on their desktop platform, despite the recent proliferation of the Mac Defender malware, OS X is still generally considered to be more secure than Windows 7 because of it's Unix origins.
The fact that it's user privileges and authentication, which is one of Unix's strongest suits, will cause many great concern.
The researchers say that the latest version of OS X has gone some way to rectifying the problems with new sandboxing, that keeps programs isolated.
The research also looked at the vulnerability count for the two operating systems over the past few years. In that time OS X has seen 1,151 vulnerabilities with Windows being not much higher, at 1,325. While this is higher than the count for OS X it's not significantly so.
On the upside, they also pointed out that Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, is better at sandboxing applications. It has a dynamic signing feature which the device has to approve before an application can run. This is opposed to OS X which will accept certificates that it is given.
Whatever the outcome of this it is further proof that Apple have let their game slip in recent years by being complacent about security in their operating systems, especially OS X. The line that it's just secure by design is no longer true as malware these days works on the user rather than the OS itself. It will be interesting to see how, or even if, Apple respond.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.