Posts Tagged ‘Security’

Are Macs Really More Secure Than PCs?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

For years, Apple has claimed that Macs are unassailable to attack, while rebuking Windows as being filled with security holes. Now not only has a Trojan been able to infect Macs and create a botnet, but many famous researchers caution that the Mac’s Operating System is more vulnerable than both Windows or Linux.

There has been a lot of media hype recently about the detection of the world’s first Mac botnet. On downloading a pirated copy of iLife, Mac users found that their machines were corrupted by a Trojan which opens a port on the local connection hosts by acting as a back door.

While addressing the Trojan, Apple claimed that the chances of being infected by this virus is negligible. But the very fact of its existence, and a botnet run by it, proves that Apple’s declaration that Macs are impenetrable to attacks is simply false.

Hackers say that they find Macs less secure than their present Windows equivalent. They say the code quality, in terms of security, is superior in Windows. Apple has fallen behind as far as security is concerned in the last several years.  This is largely because the spotlight has been on Window’s OS but not as much on Mac’s.

The general perception that Macs are invulnerable to attacks is fast changing. On the contrary, more people these days assert that Macs are far easier to exploit than Windows. The steps taken by Windows to ensure that it is harder for an exploit to work are not followed by Mac. This makes hacking into Macs so much easier as one does not have to jump hoops and deal with all the anti-exploit measures that can be found in Windows.

The security aspect also has to do more with the operating system than with the target program. Firefox on Mac is very easy to hack into. The underlying OS does not have built-in anti-exploit patches. Firefox on Windows is another matter altogether, rated one of the most secure browsers across all platforms.

There is another simple explanation as to why Macs are easier to hack into than Windows.  Bugs that pop up on all platforms are mostly the same, but it is very difficult to write an application for Windows. Hence, it is equally difficult to write an exploit for Windows, making hacking Macs comparatively easier.

From the start, Mac has had a UNIX foundation. This is why several years ago Mac was more secure than Windows. But the latest kinds of Trojans can override all the UNIX protections and hence the edge that Mac has held over Windows has been nullified and Macs are now inherently less secure than the latest versions of Windows.

There is also the belief that Apple’s polished reputation has little to do with its hardware, but is all because of excellent marketing. It may be that the legend of the Mac’s superior security is more about marketing genius and less about actual facts.

So for those in the Mac community who are still under the impression that the Mac is invincible: Sorry to break it to you but that is a thing of the past.

You can find more great articles, resources and free downloads for the Mac at Macintosh Tools.

Macintosh Tools has the latest articles, resources, software and tools for your Mac.

How to Convert a DVD to an iPod Or PSP

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

It’s rather complicated for one to become accustomed to all the options available on the web as we speak, regarding the process of converting a video DVD for a playback gadget like an iPod or a PSP. Depending on the model, firmware, format compatibility there are dozens of software programs for such converters that provide, more or less, suitable conversions for the iPod or PSP owner.

The software converter offered by those at 99bytes is an acknowledged piece of software by renowed specialists like Softpedia, in terms of download security and overall standard of ease of use. It does not require complicated steps to be made by the user, as the following described steps will show.

First of all, any user receives five free trial conversions beforehand, so a user gets to test the converter capabilities without needing to purchase the actual converter. After the installation, the video file to be converted has to be opened from the main menu. The 99bytes DVD converter for iPod and PSP offers double compatibility, meaning that a DVD can be converted both for an iPod and a PSP, which saves the user money and time because he or she doesn’t need to look for a different converter for their other gadget, the PSP. This particular software converts any video format into a compatible mp4 one for the iPod, so users don’t have to worry about previous conversions.

Furthermore, the software permits selected conversion, which are conversions of certain parts or chapters of the DVD, so users can save space on their iPod or PSP and watch only those parts of the movie they like best. These are the most basic steps a user has to do in order to convert a DVD for an iPod or a PSP using the 99bytes DVD software converter.

http://www.99bytes.com

Quick Tips to Secure Your Mac

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The Mac is a series of Personal Computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. One of the features of the Mac that gives it an edge over other computers is its safety and security, which far outstrips any of its competitors. Here are a few easy tips for the security of your Mac.

Update the OS with Security Patches

The simplest way to ensure the safety of your Mac is to update the Operating System with the latest Security Patches on the net by going to the Apple option on the menu bar and then selecting the Software Update option. The Mac can also be set to check for Software Updates automatically and it will check for these updates daily, weekly or monthly, as per the user’s preference. The URI Antivirus website gives free McAfee VirusScan downloads which can be updated regularly and automatically.

Password-protect your Mac

Password-protecting is another way of securing your Mac. Under the Apple option on the menu bar, in System Preferences there is an Account Preferences pane. Here the password can be changed and you can also generate one, if you can’t think of a strong one yourself, by clicking on the icon key. It is essential to have a strong password to prevent brute force attacks.

Customize the Physical security settings

In addition to all this, the user can further enhance the security of the Mac by availing of the physical security settings. Automatic login can be disabled and after sixty minutes of inactivity, the Mac can be set to log off automatically. Also, once the Mac is on sleep or screen saver mode, it can be set to ask for the password to log back in. All these features can be activated by going to the Apple option on the menu bar, and then selecting System Preferences and then clicking on the Security Preferences pane.

Activate your Firewall

Keeping the Mac’s Firewall turned on 24X7 also helps to keep it secure. This can be done by clicking on the System Preferences on the Apple option in the menu bar. In System Preferences, click on the Firewall tab and click Start to activate it.

Keep a backup of all data

Keeping a back up of all the data on the Mac is also advisable. This can be done in two ways. One is to copy all the files into a USB or a Firewire external storage device and the other way is to burn CD or DVD back ups of all the data on the Mac.

Turn off Bluetooth/Wireless Systems

Bluetooth and Wireless Systems are easy targets for local hackers. Hence, it is very important for the security of the Mac to turn off these features when they are not in use. This is a very simple procedure. By clicking in the Bluetooth or wireless logo on the top menu bar, the user can turn it on or off. So every time he/she wants to use the Bluetooth, it can be turned on and when he/she is finished with it, it can be turned off.

You can find many more security articles and resources at Macintosh Tools. We update daily and bring you everything related to Macs.


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