NYTimes gets computer security wrong again

I love the NYTimes and read it every day.

But almost every computer security related article I read in it is just dead wrong. As someone who started and succesfully sold a computer security company (SiteAdvisor to McAfee) I feel like this is one area I know something about. (scary thought: does the NYTimes just happen to be wrong about my area of expertise or are they wrong about a lot more and this is the only area where I’m able to detect it?).

Today’s poorly researched and flat-out wrong security article claims Macs Aren’t Safer, Just a Smaller Target. The sole piece of evidence comes from a study by Symantec, a company that sells Mac anti-virus software. When your only source has a significant business interest in “results” of the study, shouldn’t the “newspaper of record” get a second opinion? For example, maybe talk to an operating systems expert, most if not all of whom will tell you Mac’s Unix-based OS is just a vastly better architecture from a security perspective.

Moreover, as comments on the article point out, Mac’s market share is big enough now (~10%) that it certainly seems like a reasonable target. In fact with all the talk of how Mac’s don’t get viruses, if I were a virus writer today looking to make my name, I’d imagine targeting the Mac would be a far more interesting way to go.

I literally can’t remember the last time I met a techie in CA or NYC who used a PC. At this point using a Mac versus PC in the tech world has become an IQ test, not a preference.

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