U.S. Army adopts Apple for new video surveillance

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
For security, ease of use and features, the U.S. Army has reportedly turned to Apple hardware for four new video surveillance installations.



According to Security Systems News, the Army now has four video surveillance installations based on Mac OS X and Apple servers. Pat Mercer, security business leader/sales manager with Siemens, said the IT department was initially reluctant to go Mac, but as they explored the systems, it became clear it was the best and most secure option.



"When you ask them what their requirements are, they say, 'Low bandwidth, and I need to make sure nothing is going to hack into my network via your system,' Mercer said. "That?s where the Mac conversation begins. The viruses, hacking, all of those things are dramatically minimized with Apple and it eliminates a lot of those challenges."



Chris Gettings, CEO and president of VideoNEXT, said the Mac offers security that Windows cannot, and a user interface far superior to Red Hat Linux.



"It just runs," Gettings said. "You?re not going to have some of the memory-leak issues that seem to plague different versions of the Windows systems. And mission-critical customers appreciate that."



He said he particularly appreciates the consistency found in Apple hardware. When ordering identical servers from Dell two weeks apart, Gettings said he discovered that a chip on the motherboard had been changed. But with Apple, he said, he doesn't need to worry about issues like that. The streamlined hardware also allows him to create a more efficient system.



"He can put as many as 60 cameras on one Apple server that, according the specifications, has the same performance abilities as a Dell or HP server that can only serve 50 cameras," the report said.



The news isn't the first report of the U.S. Army embracing the Apple platform. In 2007, the military branch stepped up its Mac orders to thwart hacking attempts. The Army began shifting away from a Windows-only environment in 2005, when General Steve Boutelle warned that a homogenous operating system environment could expose a computer system to large-scale hacking attempts.



The Army has also used Apple hardware in the field, adopting custom iPods to be used as field translators in Iraq. The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division reportedly used iPods and iPod nanos modified to run a special application from Vcom 3D known as Vcommunicator Mobile. The system allows soldiers to choose words or phrases to broadcast out of an attached speaker and communicate with locals.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,726member
    "When you ask them what their requirements are, they say, 'Low bandwidth, and I need to make sure nothing is going to hack into my network via your system,' Mercer said. "That?s where the Mac conversation begins. The viruses, hacking, all of those things are dramatically minimized with Apple and it eliminates a lot of those challenges."



    Ooooooo!. Charlie Miller is gonna have a cow over this one.
  • Reply 2 of 99
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,454member
    "That’s where the Mac conversation begins. The viruses, hacking, all of those things are dramatically minimized with Apple and it eliminates a lot of those challenges."



    Were they reluctant to say dropped to zero?
  • Reply 3 of 99
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    "That?s where the Mac conversation begins. The viruses, hacking, all of those things are dramatically minimized with Apple and it eliminates a lot of those challenges."



    Were they reluctant to say dropped to zero?



    Meh, I assume it isn't good practice to speak of absolutes in the public/poltical/military sphere.



    At least not after "Mission Accomplished."
  • Reply 4 of 99
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    heh, The report fails to mention where the surveillance cameras are installed. Are they watching us or them
  • Reply 5 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    heh, The report fails to mention where the surveillance cameras are installed. Are they watching us or them



    They are installed in front of you.



    And iChat Server SE (surveillance edition) is used to record every iSight they can get their hands on.
  • Reply 6 of 99
    And yet, getting a simple videoconference up and running using an iSight external camera remains an ordeal. The whole process is still unnecessarily complicated.
  • Reply 7 of 99
    No "no military use" clauses in license agreements bundled with OSX?
  • Reply 8 of 99
    "At least not after "Mission Accomplished."



    Yeah, at least not after "unemployment will not rise above 8%"!
  • Reply 9 of 99
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Does this mean we're closer to getting iChat [video] on the iPhone? Oh wait...it doesn't have a camera behind the display.



  • Reply 10 of 99
    WOW, does this guy work for apple or did he just get some overexposure to the RDF? simultaneously draining steve's powers? it explains his recent illness.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "It just runs," Gettings said.



    someone get him a cue card. the line is, "It just works."

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Army began shifting away from a Windows-only environment in 2005, when General Steve Boutelle warned that a homogenous operating system environment could expose a computer system to large-scale hacking attempts.



    that and 'cuz the navy had a ship dead in the water that needed to be rebooted! remember that one kids? that was hilarious. i think it was the lexington running nt.
  • Reply 11 of 99
    bucetabuceta Posts: 141member
    Yet another one realizes the obvious: that macs are leaps and bounds beyond windows PCs.



    If the Army can figure this one out anybody should be able to as well. Unfortunately, there are those even more dim-witted than the Army.
  • Reply 12 of 99
    I hope the Army doesn't let their guard down and not put any protection of for the Macs... every system is hackable.
  • Reply 13 of 99
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Want to kill some terrorists? There's an app for that.



    iKill, only on an iPhone.
  • Reply 14 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Want to kill some terrorists? There's an app for that.



    iKill, only on an iPhone.



    Lol. This is good news. The more Apple computers are used in these protection hungry enviroments the more it can prove. That it isn't safer because it less used or not really used in highly secured setups. But it is safer because of it's architecture. Let the hacking begin!
  • Reply 15 of 99
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spoonyfork View Post


    No "no military use" clauses in license agreements bundled with OSX?



    Of course, it could just be for something as mundane as building or facility security. Just like any other business has to protect their property. After all, you don't want anyone breaking into a warehouse and stealing hammers at $800 apiece!



    (In other words, just because the military is using it doesn't automatically mean it's being used for unethical purposes. Or should everyone be required to pass some ethics test before being allowed to purchase Apple products?)
  • Reply 16 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post


    I hope the Army doesn't let their guard down and not put any protection of for the Macs... every system is hackable.





    DITTO.



    i've been using mac since its introduction, and i've not encountered a mac software virus, BUT i still would not let my guard down.



    never say "never" because, as ipodrulz said, "every system is hackable", but to some degree - some requiring intelligence. thus far, i think Charlie Miller has been the only one intelligent enough to publicly demonstrate this. i'm convince that all others are not as intelligent and perhaps as ethical (is he? i don't know) as he is. anything Windows is just a mindless plaything to people like Miller, however to the others, it taxes their brains.
  • Reply 17 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    heh, The report fails to mention where the surveillance cameras are installed. Are they watching us or them



    I have it on reasonable authority that system is helping to protect a whole mess of Dell servers.

    HT
  • Reply 18 of 99
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    I'm curious if they are using XServe or Mac Pros. The XServe doesn't get much press.
  • Reply 19 of 99
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danielchow View Post


    i've been using mac since its introduction, and i've not encountered a mac software virus, BUT i still would not let my guard down.



    You either have not been using Macs since the beginning, never shared any disks or didn't realize that the goofy clown who popped up and deleted all your files was a virus. There were tons of Mac viruses before OS X. Are you kidding me?
  • Reply 20 of 99
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    I'm curious if they are using XServe or Mac Pros. The XServe doesn't get much press.



    Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I guess you don't need card slots anymore for that even to manipulate the cameras. All usb or ethernet I think.
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