Apple Gear Could Be Targeted by Hackers in 2011

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charrdner

South Beach java
This article is old but i think it still applies, it's about security and mac's and that whole security by obscurity thing, which it says is not true.and I see no point in adding other browsers to clog the system and increase my risks. Also, the more extensions and third party plug-ins you add, the more you increase your risk posture

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dlowe005

So, question. Just bought my first Mac. I was told I wouldn't need any external security software... is that not the case?

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mboltz

Bottom line is that it's up to you, but as a long time Mac person, I don't think you need it. I've been using OS X since forever and I still don't have third-party security tools.

There are some precautions that you should take however, using the tools that are built into OS X. It does have some basic anti-virus (ClamAV) and some other things that you don't have to worry about. But it's also a good idea to ensure you have the OS X firewall set (go to Apple -> System Preferences - > Security). On the Firewall tab, make sure it's on. You may also want to add the Advanced settings for stealth mode, and don't allow signed apps to accept inbound connections - BUT before you adjust those, learn what you are doing by selecting them.

If you travel a lot with your Mac and you have sensitive data on the hard drive, you may want to add FileVault, where your home directory and all of its contents are encrypted. The downside to that is that it limits TimeMachine for backups (TimeMachine can only back up your files if you're logged out in that case, as it has to back up the encrypted image. Which in turn is more secure because that backup is also encrypted.).

The most likely point of entry is the Web browser, however. I stick to Safari, as it works well enough for me, and I see no point in adding other browsers to clog the system and increase my risks. Also, the more extensions and third party plug-ins you add, the more you increase your risk posture. But in general, Safari's default settings are pretty good at containing risks, and the plug-ins from Adobe and others are in a sandbox (restricted; but more so they don't crash Safari if they screw up, than for security reasons).

And last comment on OS X security. As a long-time security expert (more than 20 years of experience), I can say that I don't buy the security through obscurity argument as the reason why Apple's been protected. If OS X were really an easier target, hackers would already work on it because it's the easy way out. What people forget is that OS X is not some "new" operating system that no one has explored yet. On the contrary, it's running on BSD UNIX, which is a 40 year old operating system that has been dissected over the years and designed well to start with; it's a proven OS.

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sportmac

this article is old but i think it still applies, it's about security and mac's and that whole security by obscurity thing, which it says is not true.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/16/windowsstyle_security_hell_stalks_mac/

so yeah, there will be more interest and some may get through but the bottom line is mac's are just more secure.

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