Kaspersky Labs Says Apple Not Serious About Security, Apple Asks Them to Consult

Computer experts, or anyone that has been on the Internet for long enough, will tell you that no machine is safe from malicious software. This point was driven home quite dramatically in the past few weeks when it was disclosed that over 600,000 Apple computers were part of an enormous botnet powered by the Flashback malware. Now, Apple is asking the security firm Kaspersky Labs to help them batten down the hatches.

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The move is an interesting one, because while Kaspersky is a big name in digital security, they’ve also been pointed critics of Apple. Interestingly, that habit of calling Apple out doesn’t seem to be changing now that Kaspersky is working with the computing giant.

In an interview with Computing, Kaspersky CTO Nikolai Grebennikov said that Apple hadn’t been taking security seriously, and hinted that the company’s closed-off approach to security updates was hurting it. From Computing:

“Our first investigations show Apple doesn’t pay enough attention to security. For example, Oracle closed a vulnerability in Java, which was a target for a major botnet several months ago. […] Apple blocked Oracle from updating Java on Mac OS, and they perform all the udpates [sic] themselves. They only released the patch a few weeks ago – two or three months after the Oracle patch. That’s far too long[.]”

Grebennikov is almost certainly speaking to the turn-around time in releasing their patch, but his complaints might also speak to the increasingly closed nature of Apple. The release of the Mac App Store and forthcoming changes to the OS that will make adding software not made by licensed developers a little more difficult hint at efforts to turn Mac OS into something more like the walled garden of iOS.

Apple’s role as the sole arbiter of what goes on their mobile devices has kept the iOS platform relatively safe since its launch, but one wonders if that same approach could work on the Mac OS. After all, releasing a security update and a Flashback malware removal tool didn’t manage to cut off the botnet as quickly as was expected. Though these complaints could be an argument for a more open Apple, it’s just as likely that Kaspersky could be working to help close down the OS even more.

(Computing via TNW)

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