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Apple's macOS is the safer choice – but not for the reason you think

Eugene Kaspersky looks forward to a new darker dawn

MWC Apple's Mac operating system may be the safer choice – but only because cybercriminals can't get their hands on people who know how to exploit it.

That's according to security showman Eugene Kaspersky, who gave a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. In recent months, Kaspersky has made a habit of giving MacOS a kicking, and this keynote was no different.

"People still think MacOS is safe," he told attendees with some measure of incredulity. But it's not. While there is certainly less malware for the operating system than, say, Windows, it's more a case of difficulty in hacker recruitment than evidence of stronger inherent security.

Of course, this zeal may have something to do with a big push from Kaspersky for its security software for the Mac, not that you'd need it from Eugene's logic. And that may have something to do with Kaspersky's huge certificate cock-up at the start of the year that exposed millions of people to interception attacks.

To be fair though, it wasn't just Apple that Kaspersky attacked: he also had some harsh words for car manufacturers, internet-of-things developers, and pretty much anyone who has ever made a software product.

Always one for theatrical flourishes, the Russian businessman started off his keynote in complete darkness. It wasn't a power failure: he was emphasizing his talk's main point that if everyone doesn't work together to improve cybersecurity, we face blackouts – or "very bad scenarios," as he put it.

(It may be worth noting that this global collaboration plan is not shared by all – such as the Russian authorities who arrested Kaspersky Lab's head of the computer incidents investigation team, Ruslan Stoyanov, late last year and charged him with treason. New reports say the arrest stems from allegations that he passed information to US company Verisign.)

"We still have new technologies working on vulnerable platforms," Kaspersky warned, adding a little bit of future fear about "smart machines" that may not be under our control.

So what's the solution? A complete redesign of all of our systems, starting from scratch by building on top of secure platforms and software. He dreams of systems that are no longer "secure" but "immune."

"Is it possible? I think yes. It's my dream to have uncrackable devices with zero risk of hacker attack," he told the crowd. But in the meantime, we will just have to rely on Apple's control freak tendencies to keep us safe through developer disinterest. ®

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