Analyzing the analysis
The already dated article run by the San Jose Mercury News a few days ago (see “Bugs, bugs, bugs”) turns out to have been a piece written by the Associated Press.  This piece has been picked up (even more out-datedly) by various other news sources in the last few days.  Publications like the Washington Post, CNN and even Wired have run the same article as if it were “news,” making it appear that a two-month old incident occurred yesterday, and spreading the article’s point of view (“Macs are no longer invulnerable,” as if they ever were) far and wide.  The online site Daring Fireball has a good, albeit slightly sarcastic, analysis of this outdated analysis.
In a related analysis analysis incident, a very detailed study of Apple’s ability to address and fix security vulnerabilities after they’re discovered is discussed in a Washington Post Security Fix entry. The author obviously did a lot of work, but some of his overall premises seem quite flawed, as indicated by many of the comments after the article (which are currently four times longer than the article itself, and growing).  A good alternate point of view is provided by Scott Bradner (a very respected researcher) in Network World.
Whether you agree with the analysis (“Macs are vulnerable”) or more with the analysis analysis (“Yes, but nothing like Windows, and that’s not even really news anyway”), getting Mac users to think about the situation has got to be a good thing.  As with backups, it’s not a question of “if” but rather a question of “when” all Mac users are going to need to deal with Internet security.
Thursday, May 4, 2006