Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Mar 2011 00:28 UTC
Mac OS X It's sad to see that even after all these years, we still have to write articles like this one. It's all over the web right now: a new backdoor Mac OS X trojan discovered! Code execution! Indicative of rise in Mac malware! Until, of course, you actually take a look at what's going on, and see that not only is it not in the wild, it can't really do anything because it's a beta.
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RE[3]: Maybe I'm crazy...
by kaiwai on Wed 2nd Mar 2011 06:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe I'm crazy..."
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope I am misunderstanding you, because the app stores of the "walled garden" variety are not about security so much as they are about control.

Even devices in walled gardens can have vulnerabilities exploitable through the app store or directly. The iphone rootkit (which is generally used intentionally by end users to break apple's chain of control) is technically proof of a vulnerability in the device.

While it represents a win for end users due to the freedom it gives them, it represents a failure by apple to protect it's platform. It's just so contorted that we live in a world where we have to break into our own devices.


True, but a walled garden makes the likelihood a whole lot lower but event then I think it gives a false sense of security to end users - I think there has already been an example recently with Android where an application was a approved but then remotely removed because it turned out not to be so kosher after all. There is only so many things that the app reviewers can check for and it wouldn't surprise me if sometime in the future there is an embarrassing situation. Although I love the AppStore on Mac OS X I never use it as my 'line of defence' against trojans etc.

Yes, I understand it is about control but a side effect of control is greater security in much the same way that a police state can result in a lower crime rate - is it really worth the price for less freedom? I certainly don't think so. Is Singapore clean and pretty much crime free? sure but I sure as hell don't want to be arrested because the morality police catch my boyfriend and I having some undercover fun.

Thankfully we agree, but I don't think security implies lack of freedom in the first place. However, security just happens to be an excellent excuse for vendors to take freedoms away from the ignorant, and by extension (through market pressure) the rest of us too.


When I mean security I am talking about the fact that when you add more security to a system things either become more laborious to do, require you to work around it or worse ends up curbing your freedom in some way. If you have a fixed purpose device like an iPod Touch, there is security because there are limited things you can actually do with the device - you actually have to really go out of your way to accomplish the end goal of making it less secure. The net result is you've got a secure market place that has fixed set of rules but is it worth the price of not being able to tinker, source applications from other locations, being able to maybe loading on another operating system to the device itself etc?

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