Accounting for 80% of the worldwide operating system market, Windows XP is ubiquitous, but with such exposure inherently comes the position of the most prevalent target for attacks, and because of the constant bombardment, also a less honorable customer perception of an insecure platform. In January 2007, Microsoft made Windows Vista available to the general public. Applauded as the most secure Windows operating system to date, Vista inherited the sins of Windows XP along with its “bad name”. However, in the first six months on the market, Vista did manage to prove that it could handle its own issues.
In October 2007, Apple is scheduled to release Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Mac OS X is generally perceived as a Mecca of security, and Leopard will not be an exception to this rule. Still, in the 80s, Apple II machines were falling victims to the first ever virus. Could Leopard be the turning point? Or will Vista continue in the barrage of fire tradition of Windows XP?
“Viruses and worms were born on papers in early 80s, but when exactly the first computer virus was spotted in the wild? Modern Apple users won’t want to hear it, but the first known virus was created to run on Apple II machines. The virus was a program called “Elk Cloner” and it was distributed with a game on a floppy disk. After the 49th execution of the game, the virus would display a poem message and infect the computer. In 1986 the first PC virus called “(c)Brain” was created by two brothers from Pakistan in order deter pirated copies of software they invented. The virus changed the label of 360 KB floppy disks to “(c)Brain,” revealed Elia Florio, Symantec Security Response Engineer.
Windows Vista is in a sense condemned to repeat the history of Windows XP, due to the fact that it will replace its predecessor. But the threat environment has been predicted to change focus to additional platforms outside of Windows, and Safari 3.0 and the iPhone have thoroughly demonstrated that Apple products are neither bulletproof nor perfect.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, Leopard, Apple, Windows XP