Hacker: Microsoft More Secure Than Apple, Adobe


Nibiru2012

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From: Tom's Hardware

April 16, 2010


Microsoft is doing things better than Apple and Adobe, according to a career hacker.

Marc Maiffret got into hacking not long after he got his first computer as a schoolboy, and by age 17, he was a known hacker who was greeted one morning by an FBI agent who held a gun to his face.

Since then, Maiffret turned his life around and helped to co-found eEye Digital Security, a company dedicated to finding security flaws in Microsoft's software. Last December, he joined anti-malware firm FireEye as chief security architect.

For all his work trying to find holes in Microsoft's products, Maiffret now says that the Windows maker has the best practices when it comes to software security.

"Now when you look at Microsoft today they do more to secure their software than anyone. They're the model for how to do it. They're not perfect; there's room for improvement. But they are definitely doing more than anybody else in the industry, I would say," Maiffret told CNet in an interview. "From an internal process in how they go about auditing their code and securing software from a technical perspective, they do have one of the best models. The area they still have room for improvement is around time lines of how long it takes for them to fix things."

Maiffret is now pointing to Adobe and Apple as being companies who are lacking in the security department. "They are starting to get black eyes with people saying Adobe is a bigger worry than Microsoft is at the moment, which I agree with. As those things are happening, Adobe and Apple and other companies are starting to pay attention and care more. But a year ago, it was still very much a marketing thing. People from both companies treated it as a marketing problem. They didn't have good technical structures behind the scenes."

Apple has hired an industry-noted security employee formerly of Microsoft, but Maiffret still says that Apple's very much behind when it comes to security. "They've really only begun in the last six months or so taking security seriously and understanding that it impacts their business in a serious way."
Referring to Apple, Maiffret said,"It's even a little scarier with them because they try to market themselves as more secure than the PC, that you don't have to worry about viruses, etc. Anytime there's been a hacking contest, within a few hours someone's found a new Apple vulnerability. If they were taking it seriously, they wouldn't claim to be more secure than Microsoft because they are very much not. And the Apple community is pretty ignorant to the risks that are out there as it relates to Apple. The reason we don't see more attacks out there compared to Microsoft is because their market share isn't near what Microsoft's is."

Maiffret continued, "I think Microsoft does a better job with their code auditing than folks like Apple do. We've only seen a scratching of the surface as far as Apple vulnerabilities because nobody cares to find them. There's nothing inherent with Apple themselves and their development. The only reason Apple gets little increase in security is because they're running on top of a Unix-based operating system and they can take advantage of some of the things that have been done for them."

SOURCE
 
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catilley1092

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A great article, Nibiru! It confirms my suspicions about Adobe. Many blame ActiveX for being a security flaw, and to a degree it is, but Adobe is just as much, if not more, of a security threat. I have been reading about this from various sources for over a year now. If Foxit could produce software that can do everything that Adobe can, they could take over Adobe's base of customers. But I don't see it happening, Adobe has more programs than a PDF reader and Flash for IE & other OS's. It would be hard to kick them to the curb, but I read a recent article where Steve Jobs had done so, whether it was Apple's whole line of products, or one of their expensive gadgets, I can't remember. I do remember there was a problem between Jobs and Adobe.
 
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Still there are a lot of things to be improved. Microsoft cannot stand against Redhat linux enterprise in matters of security ! Its a long way to go .
 

catilley1092

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I run Mint 8 myself, it's fairly secure too. Plus, most anything you need is within the package manager. Linux OS's are picky about printers, though. But other than that, Mint 8 is a fine OS, too. It's currently the 4th most used one in the world, behind Ubuntu, Mac, and Windows. Not bad for a free OS. Very speedy, too.
 

Veedaz

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Linux Mint is a nice OS so to is Mandriver, Linux can make a nice change in a dual boot option.
 

catilley1092

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Yes it can, Veedaz. Mint makes an excellent dual boot on this desktop. It even found a newer video driver than I have installed on Windows 7. The screen is noticeably clearer, and it's a snappy OS. Too, it can make an older computer look much better, and it usually finds all of your drivers for you. Linux can never replace Windows for me, but some of the mainstream OS's that are around, there's no reason not to run them. You don't need to add on so much security, they are fairly secure out of the box. I do have Klam AV on it.
 
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Mychael

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Can Mint 8 handle RAID? I made the mistake sometime ago of installing MINT 6 on my machine and broke the RAID.
 

catilley1092

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I had to do a little researching on that question, Mychael. With the way that is setup, I can't promise you that you won't break anything. That appears to be an older technology, and one I don't want to fool with. But I'm sure that you can install it in a VM, Sun has a good free one. But you are planning to dual boot between XP Pro & Windows 7, aren't you? Other than the GRUB bootloader being installed, and a different format (ext3 or ext4), I see no other differences. I may can give a better answer if you tell me something. What type of hard drive(s) are you going to be using? This RAID deal may not be the best option for you, especially if you have a large, modern hard drive.
 

Mychael

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Well what had happend was that I had my XP machine running with mirrored Raid on two HDD. When I tried installing MINT6 it saw the two drives as one. Put a bit of itself on both and effectively killed both itself and the Windows as when I tried a reboot Mint was looking on only one drive but had also corrupted the boot sectors for my Windows over both drives. We recovered the windows OS but could not re-initiate the RAID.
The drives were Western digital velociraptors.

For the new system, yes a dual boot of both ' 7' and XP. Have not decided on the drives as yet.
Mirror RAID if it works properly is great as essentially you have two drives with identical data running all the time. If one dies you can remove it and then copy back across from the other to have two duplicate drives again.
 
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Nibiru2012

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For what it's worth, next time I install a Linux distro I'm going to install to a separate hard drive and choose the drive through my BIOS boot drive function.

That way there will be no dual-boot software to install. Just about a minute to change it in the BIOS and reboot.
 

catilley1092

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For what it's worth, next time I install a Linux distro I'm going to install to a separate hard drive and choose the drive through my BIOS boot drive function.

That way there will be no dual-boot software to install. Just about a minute to change it in the BIOS and reboot.
That is an excellent suggestion, Nibiru. If you install a Linux OS, it overwrites the Windows one with GRUB, most Linux OS's bootloader. The problem is when you decide you no longer want Linux on your system. So you delete the Linux partition, you're left with no bootloader. So, you either have to rely on a backup (taken prior to installing Linux), or you have to insert your Windows 7 disc and do a repair install. This will normally fix your bootloader. Your suggestion would probably prevent this. You know what? I believe I'll find a use for that hard drive that I just pulled, after all. My problem with that is that it's a SATA one (Caviar Blue). Perhaps there's a way to install it inside of a small box, and make it work with a USB connection. Mabye you have some thoughts to share on that.:top:
 
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Nibiru2012

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Cat - check this out from Amazon. This enclosure takes SATA connection drives.

Check this page out here, it has a bunch of SATA drive external enclosures:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias=electronics&field-keywords=external+enclosure+3.5+sata&x=0&y=0&sprefix=external+en

You could add a small item, such as paper or something else, maybe a paperback to reach free shipping at $25 or more.


See larger image and other views

Vantec NexStar CX NST-300SU-BK 3.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 and eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure (Black)


More about this product
List Price: $27.99 Price: $24.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details You Save: $3.00 (11%)
 

catilley1092

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You're a genius, Nibiru! This must have been what you were referring to when you suggested I built my own backup drive. Anyway, I bought a high speed USB cable for my printer for an additional $3.99, bringing my total to $27.98. I had a regular old printer cable on my printer, this one should be faster. And now I'll have two drives, the one I recently purchased for Windows, and one for Linux. We'll need to get together on how to manage boot selection for each drive. I've heard of it being done, but don't know how to do it.
 

Nibiru2012

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Yup! You hit the nail on the head!

The nice feature about this enclosure is that it also has an eSATA connection which is very fast. Puts USB connections in the dust, so to speak.

So later on when you decide to build a true desktop system with a mid-size tower and all, you can put in a eSATA bracket in one of the PC slots and connect to one of the SATA sockets on the motherboard.

Zoooooooooooooooooooooooom!! You'll never go back to USB again. :burnout:
:vroam:



Here's what I just ordered to upgrade my external drives setup since I have three of them.

Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS2T+ 2 Bay SATA to eSATA JBOD Hard Drive Storage Enclosure (Black)

List Price: $79.99 Price: $69.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.


Go HERE to read more about it.

The MobileSTOR MS2T+B Series is a 2 bay external JBOD solution designed for individual hard drive access. With simplicity and flexibility in mind, the MS2T+ is equipped with two swappable and lockable 3.5-Inch drive trays, and dual eSATA host interfaces. The MS2T+ operates quietly, with a built-in temperature controlled cooling fan. Utilizing cutting edge Serial-ATA HDD technology, the MS2T+ is guaranteed to provide unparalleled performance to meet the most data intensive demands. Enclosed in a stylish aluminum housing, the MS2T+ provides ultimate performance and the highest versatility.

JBOD means: Just a Bunch Of Drives Isn't that catchy? LOL
 

catilley1092

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You're right, those eSATA connections are faster, the external drive that I bought on eBay has a connection for it. The only reason that I can't do as you suggested (taking the guts out & installing it in a mid size tower) is because I'll lose my warranty. If anything should happen to this computer, and it's too costly to repair, SquareTrade will refund every cent that I paid for it, it has nearly four years left on it. Being that this is a budget model desktop, you never know, it may last, it may not. But I do want my money back, if something serious were to happen. When I ordered my Caviar Black drive from Newegg, I noticed they offer packages (can be customized) to build a computer with. As low as $1,100. Almost everything you need is there. I don't care about the water cooling, fans can do the job nicely. I'm not going to build a gamer, just a solid quad core (AMD) computer. Speaking of quad core, I almost purchased one for this one last night. I had it written down, but can't find it. Anyway, it was a quad core Athlon, had excellent specs, for $99. My current one is a Athlon X2 dual core. But I don't know about power configurations, and I don't want to mess with that. I'm still considering a upgrade video card, mine is 512MB, I'd like a 1GB one, not a real high end, an ATI would do, but heat is my concern. I'm not going to alter the cooling system on here to accommodate it. In fact, I'm not going to spend much more money upgrading this one, period. I need to save for my next one, I'll build it the way I want. BTW, I'm a compulsive spender:D
 
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Nibiru2012

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Whenever you do decide to build a new system it won't cost $1,100 that's for sure.

You can build a very good system for under $900 ! I know cause I did it.

If you're not a gamer, you don't really need a video card with 1GB of GDDR RAM on it. You can get a very good ATI Radeon for under $100,

I don't know for sure what you mean about "power configurations", if you mean power supplies I can help you there.
 
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catilley1092

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What I meant by "power configurations" was that if I were to install a quad core processor on here, are the power requirements higher? I guess the same would apply to the video card. My power supply is stock, at some point, I'm going to push it to the limit, I don't want to add accessories to the point that I need to upgrade my power supply. Plus, I already plan to add that second drive to boot from. That will consume some power, too. But I'm not an expert on this issue, however it's common since that the more you add, the more power you consume. As to the degree of it, and how it would affect my computer, is what I don't know. I do know that I don't want to get involved with upgrading that (and the cooling) on this desktop. I do plan to build a desktop at some time, but I'm not going to totally rebuild this one, just a few minor upgrades were needed (RAM, hard drive space), and possibly a video card. But if the card is going to produce a lot of heat and push my power supply to it's limits, I won't mess with it.
 

Nibiru2012

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It's always best to put in a new power supply when building a new system.

Never, EVER use a power supply from an OEM maker like Dell, HP, etc. They're just not top quality. Get a good brand name power supply like CoolerMaster, Thermaltake, Bgears, Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, etc.

Hard drives don't chew up that much wattage. The two primary users of wattage are the video card and the CPU.

There are several good "power supply calculators" on the web. Newegg has one, Thermaltake has one, Check out the links below. Enter the info of how your system will be and it will calculate the "recommended" power supply for you.

It's a good idea to give yourself a 20% cushion in case you add additional items later. You may get different suggestions, it's always best to guess a little on the high side.

I took all the recommendations from 4 different sites and took the average and then bumped up to the next closest wattage unit available with the features I wanted.

eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5

[FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica] Computer Power Supply Calculator[/FONT]

Thermaltake Power Supply CalculatorMSI Power Supply Calculator


Take a look at my computer specs and you'll see I use a 550 watt unit.
 
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Thrax

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If anyone ever needs suggestions about quality power supplies, or ideal component choices for a wide range of budgets, let me know. That sort of knowledge is part and parcel of the job I have with a site I've worked for for 6+ years.
 
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Mychael

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When I first got my Thermaltake case and power supply I was amazed at hte quality compared to stuff I'd ever had before. Mind you it was premium price as well.
 

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