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Microsoft Better than Apple at Keeping up With Security Risks?

added by Michael on 31 Mar 2008

In today's Information Week, Thomas Claburn cites the recent study by  Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

In "0-Day Patch Exposing Vendors (In)security Performance," presented last week at the Black Hat conference in Amsterdam, Stefan Frei, Bernhard Tellenbach, and Bernhard Plattner of the Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology analyzed Apple's and Microsoft's security practices over the past six years and found that Microsoft has been getting better at responding to security issues while Apple has been getting worse.

During the period studied, between 2002 and 2007, Microsoft had 658 high- and medium-risk vulnerabilities, compared with 738 for Apple, the paper says.

The revived popularity of Apple's products, the researchers suggest, may have left Apple unable to keep up. "Comparing the number of unpatched vulnerabilities per vendor for the period since January 2002 we observe a striking difference between Microsoft and Apple," the report says. "On average, Microsoft succeeds to keep the average number of unpatched vulnerabilities below 20 at a steady number. On the opposite, Apple seems unable to stabilize the number of unpatched vulnerabilities in recent years. We observe a steady increase in recent years for Apple. It seams [sic] that Apple's security processes and resources cannot cope with the side-effects of the increased popularity of their products."