updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon September 25, 2006
Mac OS X threat exposure
As Apple's Mac OS X operating system increases in popularity, so does its exposure to internet-related security threats. Security firm Symantec has published its latest Internet Security Threat Report, revealing that the number of vulnerabilities identified in Apple's Safari Web browser doubled over the first half of 2006, and that the amount of time Safari users were vulnerable to exploits before Apple released a security fix increased from zero days to five. During the first six months of 2006 malicious users discovered 12 bugs in Safari, 47 bugs in Mozilla Firefox, and 38 bugs in Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Mozilla on average fixed its bugs within one day of exploits surfacing, Apple within five days, Microsoft within nine days, and Opera two days.
"There is no safe browser," said Symantec Security Response senior director Vincent Weafer. "If you've got a browser, make sure you're configuring it correctly. [...] That's a far better strategy than running some browser just because you haven't heard of it."
Weafer notes that as more companies offer monetary rewards for discovering and reporting exploits, more users are searching for ways to compromise security. Additionally, more attackers are targeting users running applications, as these prove easier to compromise than hardened servers.