In short: Mac OS X security, new Zune assault, Belgian iTunes probe

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Experts have put Apple's security to the test -- just as Microsoft prepares to test the iPod's longevity, and the European Union readies an antitrust challenge to iTunes.



Report: Apple's security good, but wanting



A number of security firms have leveled criticism at Apple for some of its security practices with Mac OS X, saying that the company's hubris could invite trouble -- though adding that criticism wasn't entirely deserved.



Apple has repeatedly taunted Microsoft with the self-proclaimed superiority of its security through its advertising, said McAfee researcher Craig Schmugar. This may have helped the company's popularity but may have equally drawn more unwanted scrutiny.



"Recently, the Mac ads may be playing a role in making people go looking for flaws. They seem to be bragging a little more than they should," he said.



The claims could potentially cause trouble given Apple's bad habits, other critics added. While Apple can take comfort in a smaller marketshare, the company's responses to security holes have typically been sluggish at best, based on a Symantec security report.



Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes in an average of 21 days -- far outpacing Apple's ever-slowing pace, which now averages 66 days between fixes. Just six months ago the firm patched Mac OS X at a still slower rate of 37 days. The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have jolted Apple out of a much-needed complacency.



Nevertheless, Apple isn't yet in danger of a collapse. SANS Institute chief researcher Johannes Ullrich noted that Mac OS X was, overall, a better prospect for those concerned about malware attempts.



"It's still safer, but not as safe as Apple pretends it is," Ullrich commented. "Some features, like the firewall, aren't all that great. But, yes, it's still pretty safe."



Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack



Meanwhile, Microsoft is still confident that its Zune will claw away some of the iPod's marketshare by striking at some of the player's best-known selling points.



"We have a second wave of marketing and advertising coming out next month," said Zune's marketing head Jason Reindorp, who elaborated that his company would point out the Zune's advantages over the iPod. The Microsoft-made device is recognized mainly for its selective Wi-Fi music sharing and its customized interface.



More importantly, Reindorp added, are new products. The campaign will start modestly with new colors for the present-day 30GB model but should grow as new features are added. Flash devices were a strong possibility given their popularity.



"We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family," he noted.



Apple caught up in new EU probe



Apple's troubles were compounded on Monday when the European Commission officially accused Apple and the four major music labels of anti-competitive practices in the deals that form the backbone of today's iTunes Store.



At the heart of the complaint was the nationalized approach to the online music shops, which are restricted only to buyers who hold accounts in given countries. Shoppers are often forced to buy only from their home store, preventing them from earning the best rate. British shoppers are particularly hurt by this, the EC said, as the 79p song downloads were the most expensive across the whole region.



The iTunes operator hinted that it had been pressured into using only localized stores and denied that it had stepped outside legal bounds when it accepted the terms that led to today's fragmented iTunes marketplace.



"Apple has always wanted to operate a single, pan-European iTunes store, accessible by anyone from any member state," Apple's spokesman told the press. "But we were advised by the music labels and publishers that there were certain legal limits to the rights they could grant us. We do not believe the company did anything to violate EU law, and we will continue to work with the EU to resolve this matter."



The accusation landed just as Apple was poised to ease earlier European concerns by removing DRM from EMI's music library on a worldwide basis.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Quote:

    " They seem to be bragging a little more than they should"



    Oh, man, that is some funny stuff.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    When people criticize the security of your OS because of the STYLE of your MARKETING, on the basis that this style MIGHT one day somehow cause your total lack of effective malware to end... you KNOW you have it good And how about when people start picking one of many metrics (time to patch) and ignoring more important ones (time to detection, severity of flaw, ease of exploitation, real-world damage, complexity of fix, secondary problems caused by fix, etc. etc. etc.)?



    As for Zune, the big "assault" seems to be 3-prong:



    1. New ads. (You mean there were old ads?)



    2. New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)



    3. New products... but no specific plans. Maybe a flash player... at least they're thinking about that someday. Might design a flash player, might not. (They should: it might not be so bulky.)



    And the EU probe? Seems pretty hard to pin the plethora of different stores on Apple. Apple's on the same side as the EU this time--they don't want multiple stores, the record labels' lawyers do.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack



    Meanwhile, Microsoft is still confident that its Zune will claw away some of the iPod's marketshare by striking at some of the player's best-known selling points.



    "We have a second wave of marketing and advertising coming out next month," said Zune's marketing head Jason Reindorp, who elaborated that his company would point out the Zune's advantages over the iPod. The Microsoft-made device is recognized mainly for its selective Wi-Fi music sharing and its customized interface.



    More importantly, Reindorp added, are new products. The campaign will start modestly with new colors for the present-day 30GB model but should grow as new features are added. Flash devices were a strong possibility given their popularity.



    "We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family," he noted.



    YAWNNNNN. Want a good translation?:



    1) Microsoft preps 'second wave Zune attack' because the first wave failed so miserably. We expect a 'tenth wave Zune attack' in 2015 as well, with MS's marketshare holding steady at halfway between 'sad' and 'lonely'.



    2) They're going to make Flash Zunes just like anyone off the street knew they would months ago. These too will get their heads handed to them in the market, thus expanding MS's humiliation to a brand new market segment.



    3) New colors are being considered because fecal-brown shockingly did not become 'the new black', terrible sales instead branded it 'the new suck'.



    More crushingly obvious details as they become available. Back to you, Ted.



    .



  • Reply 4 of 52
    I am fairly excited that the Zune is preparing this second wave of attack. Maybe, just maybe, it'll open up some competition for the ipod, and with that, we'll actually get updates more frequently and better features. The ipod is getting stale, and a harddrive upgrade won't make it more exciting.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    YAWNNNNN. Want a good translation?:



    1) Microsoft preps 'second wave Zune attack' because the first wave failed so miserably. We expect a 'tenth wave Zune attack' in 2015 as well, with MS's marketshare holding steady at halfway between 'sad' and 'lonely'.



    2) They're going to make Flash Zunes just like anyone off the street knew they would months ago. These too will get their heads handed to them in the market, thus expanding MS's humiliation to a brand new market segment.



    3) New colors are being considered because fecal-brown shockingly did not become 'the new black', terrible sales instead branded it 'the new suck'.



    More crushingly obvious details as they become available. Back to you, Ted.



    .







  • Reply 6 of 52
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    PS- One other thing: Microsoft is about to be CRUSHED in the hard drive player market by the 6G touchscreen video iPod due out later this year (though I suppose their marketshare dropping from little to 'near nothing' isn't that noticeably different).



    Since MS *knows* this, they're going to run to the Flash player market as fast as their chubby lil' feet can carry them, and then will trumpet to high heaven whatever tiny marketshare they get there, while assiduously remaining mum on anything else as what little prescence they have in the hard drive player market gets obliterated by Apple's next wave of HD players.



    Oh well, there's one good thing about Microsoft- they're predictable. \



    .
  • Reply 7 of 52
    Quote:

    The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have jolted Apple out of a much-needed complacency.









    I think this would be better worded:



    Quote:

    The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have provided a much-needed jolt to Apple's complacency.



    Unless of course, the author of the post is implying that Apple's complacency was much-needed?



    Hate to be pedantic, but I have a hard time ignoring these things.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    abenaben Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BrianAI View Post


    Hate to be pedantic, but I have a hard time ignoring these things.



    I totally agree...this jumped out at me too. So maybe we both need help.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Today's announcement re higher bit rate, DRM free AAC tracks at the iTMS makes Zune even more irrelevant.



    While MS was pandering to the labels with their DRM crippled "squirt" nonsense, Apple was working to change the game, again.



    I think the difference is, Steve actually likes music, and has an idea about how digital tech can make music a part of your life in new ways. He wants it to be a cool experience because he wants to use it. He gets excited about using it.



    MS has a marketing plan, demographic data, etc.



    The iPod was designed from the inside out, the inside being "buying and listening to music".



    The Zune was designed from the outside in, the outside being "how can we get us some of this action".
  • Reply 10 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post




    2. New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)




  • Reply 11 of 52
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    "Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes..."



    What a ridiculous report on Apple security! Microsoft works under extreme pressure to fix a never-ending procession of crucial flaws that are actively exploited without exception, while Apple's security team works a little slower to fix mostly minor flaws that have so far resulted in no verifiable exploits whatsoever... and all you can say is Microsoft works faster??? You must be kidding!!!
  • Reply 12 of 52
    jeffbjeffb Posts: 1member
    "We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family,"



    Translation:



    "So, we're just gonna slap some more lipstick on this pig and see if she flies. OOOOO, my god, that's it! Wings! We'll give it wings! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
  • Reply 13 of 52
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes in an average of 21 days -- far outpacing Apple's ever-slowing pace, which now averages 66 days between fixes.



    Why do these "experts" always get it backwards, MS gains more points here because it has more shit to fix? And how exactly do these security flaws compare with each other in the first place? We have proof of concept on the Mac side with no actual real exploits, on the other side we have actual damage taking place daily. Er...
  • Reply 14 of 52
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timewarp424 View Post


    I am fairly excited that the Zune is preparing this second wave of attack. Maybe, just maybe, it'll open up some competition for the ipod, and with that, we'll actually get updates more frequently and better features. The ipod is getting stale, and a harddrive upgrade won't make it more exciting.



    No, but multitouch will. The iPhone may be the next new iPod--but be assured it will not be the last.



    As for frequent iPod updates being desirable--I'm not so sure. I wouldn't frequently BUY a new iPod anyway
  • Reply 15 of 52
    McAffee: " We are thinking about reentering the Mac anti-virus software market and would now like to test our ability to cause panic among the masses as a means of promoting sales."
  • Reply 16 of 52
    ajmasajmas Posts: 555member
    What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.



    Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".



    As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.



    Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".



    As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.





    Dude you are so right

    Apple has to keep an eye always on M$ but with steve at the helm hes always cautious of ms moves and one other thing if steve was in the gaming industry like sony and nintendo he would have made things more exciting look how long it took Sony to realise a new console
  • Reply 18 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas View Post


    What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.



    Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".



    As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.



    dude you are so WRONG (might as well type what im thinking!)



    i have a "fool proof" way of getting into space, does that mean im going? does it mean i will ever get there? ....probably not... but there is a chance, yes, there IS a chance.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Today's announcement re higher bit rate, DRM free AAC tracks at the iTMS makes Zune even more irrelevant.



    While MS was pandering to the labels with their DRM crippled "squirt" nonsense, Apple was working to change the game, again.



    I think the difference is, Steve actually likes music, and has an idea about how digital tech can make music a part of your life in new ways. He wants it to be a cool experience because he wants to use it. He gets excited about using it.



    MS has a marketing plan, demographic data, etc.



    The iPod was designed from the inside out, the inside being "buying and listening to music".



    The Zune was designed from the outside in, the outside being "how can we get us some of this action".



    Hmmmm well..... I disagree. Apple has a marketing plan as well. It's a commercial company who wants to make money just like Microsoft. Steve Jobs may love music, but the succes lies in the product designers who clearly are more creative and work with a vision. Steve's just the CEO. Ofcourse he outlines his strategy and vision, but Apple is not Steve Jobs.

    I agree totally on the "designed from inside out" part though
  • Reply 20 of 52
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Report: Apple's security good, but wanting



    Court rooms use the saying "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" for a reason. While this report is technically correct in stating the average length of time between security fixes it fails to state the whole truth.



    Microsoft has nearly constant security holes of a critical nature. Because of this, they need to plugged at a much faster rate. Apple's bugs are of much less importance. Even many of the Month Of Apple Bugs were nothing more than a remote possibility of making an app crash under certain conditions. On top of that, many were 3rd-party programs that had nothing to do with Mac OS X. Big [email protected]#king deal!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack



    Sure, it's obvious Microsoft is prepping a 2nd attack and it's obvious it's going to be a flash based device. The problem is that Cupertino doesn't have its sights on Apple's iPod, they are going after the smaller fish. The former Play4sure partners. Zune will need to get a relatively large chunk of the non-iPod marketshare--which it won't-- before it can even begin to think about taking a share of the iPod.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple caught up in new EU



    Please! It's obviously cheaper and easier for Apple to maintain one centralized store intead one for every country. The EU apparently has too much time on their hands, yet nt enough to think things through. From this point forward I'm boycotting Europe!
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