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Mac OS X hacked under 30 minutes


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On February 22, a Sweden-based Mac enthusiast set his Mac Mini as a server and invited hackers to break through the computer's security and gain root control, which would allow the attacker to take charge of the computer and delete files and folders or install applications.

 

Within hours of going live, the "rm-my-mac" competition was over. The challenger posted this message on his Web site: "This sucks. Six hours later this poor little Mac was owned and this page got defaced".

 

The hacker that won the challenge, who asked ZDNet Australia to identify him only as "gwerdna", said he gained root control of the Mac in less than 30 minutes.

 

"It probably took about 20 or 30 minutes to get root on the box. Initially I tried looking around the box for certain mis-configurations and other obvious things but then I decided to use some unpublished exploits -- of which there are a lot for Mac OS X," gwerdna told ZDNet Australia.

 

According to gwerdna, the hacked Mac could have been better protected, but it would not have stopped him because he exploited a vulnerability that has not yet been made public or patched by Apple.

»» Read the full article!

 

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And this concludes the reason why I dislike Mac's. They are unreliable and the softwares easily crash until you have to click "Force Quit" 1,000,000 times. I have lost more data than I can count from software crashes or just bad compatibilites with older software as well. I can only imagine using Mac OS X as a server. :banghead:

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I have to admit to never having used a mac for anything - ever. Therefore I've never seen these software crashes and "Force Quit" stuff. Ok, Apple makes the operating system - who makes most of the user software? Microsoft?

 

But of course Windows has always had crashing problems, viruses, software that doesn't work and so on, it's just that we are used to it now. Admittedly, the newer OS's like w2k and xp are quite stable now - I can't remember either of them ever crashing on me.

 

Why don't I ever get a mac? 1. I hate computers controlling what i can and can't do, and 2. I want to be able to run all of my games - not just the newest ones.

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Well, while I don't think GameCop's statement is really related to the article, this is a valid example of macs being very insecure.

 

From the article (and a quote from the hacker): "The only thing which has kept Mac OS X relatively safe up until now is the fact that the market share is significantly lower than that of Microsoft Windows or the more common UNIX platforms.… If this situation was to change, in my opinion, things could be a lot worse on Mac OS X than they currently are on other operating systems,"

Additionally, an excerpt from a digg thread comment: "There are many unpublished OSX flaws. I know a guy who submitted a serious vuln to them almost 8 months ago, and they are still fixing it (and asking him not to disclose until they fix). They really take their time unfortunately"

 

This pretty much sums it up; I think Mac users presently largely fall into one of two groups: the "Sheep": apple-loving normal or technical users who if they manage to find a vulnerability, will report it to apple and happily stay quiet for however long it takes to fix, and the "Wolves": primarily technical users who have no predisposed resolution to apple, and who will be happy to keep exploits to themselves for personal gain should they find them. For PCs there's also another relatively large group that could be called the "shepherds": technical users who exist to (And are often paid to) find vulnerabilities and make a fuss about them until they're fixed - however this group is noticably absent or silent on the Mac OS platform.

All of this really just says what I've been saying all along; Macs aren't safer than PCs, in fact they might be less safe. I agree completely with the hacker quoted in the article that if windows weren't the dominant operating system we'd be in FAR worse shape then we are now.

 

On another related tangent, I despise macs too, for other reasons.

Despite their claim to "just work" - when I was in high school they replaced all of our computers with imacs, and there wasn't a day I didn't have to fix less than 2 of them (not including the at least 4-5 freezes/crashes a day).

Now, personally I could probably get along with a Mac just as well as I do with a PC - as it is I never have any system crashes on my PC and usually go 2-5 weeks between reboots.

The simple truth is, whichever platform stupid people use, they'll screw it up. And I'll argue it's a lot easier to screw up mac osX than windows.

 

-Stephen

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LOL, awesome. I love apple zealots; They're even worse than Playstation 2 zealots. They freak out any time anyone critisizes their precious over-priced software+hardware.

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LOL, awesome.  I love apple zealots; They're even worse than Playstation 2 zealots.  They freak out any time anyone critisizes their precious over-priced software+hardware.

Their better then YOUR computer.

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Am I the only one recognizing that OSX is custom BSD, a Unix branch? Just like Linux......

You can put holes in any OS, and you could close any as well (Ahem! Windows!) if you cared to put the effort in, or in the case of creating holes.......not care.

 

Why would Apple care when they have one millionth the installed userbase Windows does, and probably one hundredth the userbase popular Linux distributions do? It's all about their proprietary flamer hardware anyway. Computers that look like lamps, TVs, toasters.......

 

The ONLY thing to like about Macs, are PPC.........and those are available in other, more power and secure flavours.

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Am I the only one recognizing that OSX is custom BSD, a Unix branch? Just like Linux......

Eric and me recognize it as a custom BSD off Unix, but we also consider it a seperate OS when conversing on topics such as these.

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