Can Apple Overcome Latest Security Backlash?

A pair of renegade hackers has launched a project aimed at embarrassing Apple Computer into fixing software vulnerabilities in a timelier manner, prompting new calls for the Cupertino, Calif. company to hire a security czar to head off a growing crisis.

The MoAB (Month of Apple Bugs) launched on New Year’s day with technical details and attack code for serious holes in the way media files are played on Apple’s Mac OS X and the two researchers—a hacker known only as L.M.H. and Kevin Finisterre—promise to expose similar insecurities every day throughout the month of January.

The project follows L.M.H.’s MoKB (Month of Kernel Bugs) project in late 2006 that also took aim at the Mac OS X and sends a clear signal that members of the hacking community are aggressively looking to debunk the general feeling that Apple’s flagship operating system is immune to virus and worm attacks.

The latest anti-Apple sentiment is driven mostly by what is perceived as a smug attitude towards legitimate flaws by the company’s uncompromising fan base, but some security analysts believe the blame should fall entirely on Apple’s doorstep.

“Those Mac commercials really rubbed the security guys the wrong way. It was like a dare to break into the Mac,” says Thor Larholm, an independent researcher based in Denmark.

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