George Ou, a writer over at ZDNet, will surely be getting some
fan hate mail with his latest work of art. He was curious as to how Windows stacked up against Mac OS X in terms of the number of vulnerabilities, and using data from the impartial Secunia he managed to gather some rather interesting facts to say the least.
He counted up how many vulnerabilities there have been for Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista. To make the comparison fair he had to combine the number of Windows XP & Vista vulnerabilities because Secunia doesn’t break down the flaws for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. In doing so, however, he made sure not to double-count the same flaws that appeared on both Windows XP and Vista.
The results? Over the past year Windows XP and Vista combined have averaged less than 4 vulnerabilities per month, but Mac OS X rolled in a whopping 20 vulnerabilities each month! One thing that he made sure to lay out was how critical the flaws were for each operating system, and you can see from this chart I put together most of Apple’s were highly critical:
George also laid out a table listing all of the vulnerabilities that he found for each operating system so that there is little doubt about the results that he uncovered. And despite being a much newer operating system, Vista (1.67 vulnerabilities per month) is averaging less flaws each month than XP (2.83 vulnerabilities per month)!
With such a high number of critical vulnerabilities there is no wonder that businesses are so weary to adopt Mac computers in the work place. And as the Mac market share continues to rise I can only imagine that the pace of exploits will rise as well.
What I would like to see now is a comparison of how much time passed by between the disclosure of vulnerabilities and the release of the patches.