Study: Apple's Exposure to Net Threats Rises

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 09-25-2006

As part of its current ad campaign, Apple suggests that Macs aren't vulnerable to the same Internet security problems PCs are.

But according to a new study by security vendor Symantec, the number of vulnerabilities identified in Apple's Safari browser in the first half of 2006 doubled over the prior six months—and it increased its window of exposure to Net-based exploits from zero days to five.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser still has a longer window of exposure—the time between when code exploiting a vulnerability appears and when a fix is available—and a greater total number of security holes. But Apple "is headed in the opposite direction" with respect to its browser's vulnerability to Internet-based threats, says Dave Cole, director of Symantec's Security Response team.

Baseline contacted Apple last week requesting comment on the Symantec study, but the company did not provide a response by our Friday deadline.

The tenth edition of Symantec's twice-yearly Internet Security Threat Report, to be released Sept. 25, analyzes network-based attacks and known software vulnerabilities for the first six months of 2006.

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