Apple’s operating systems and its software are generally believed to be the best available in terms of security and stability, but a new report from Trend Micro reveals that’s a huge misconception… at least in recent months. In fact, the Cupertino company suffered more vulnerabilities during the last quarter than rivals like Oracle, Google, Adobe, and even Microsoft.
During the first three months of 2012, Apple reported 91 vulnerabilities in total, according to the “Security in the age of Mobility” (PDF) report, making it number one among the top 10 technology vendors in the industry. Oracle took second spot with 78 vulnerabilities, while Google came in third with 73. Microsoft only reported 43 vulnerabilities.
The top ten looks like this:
- Apple — 91 vulnerabilities
- Oracle — 78 vulnerabilities
- Google — 73 vulnerabilities
- Microsoft — 43 vulnerabilities
- IBM — 42 vulnerabilities
- Cisco — 36 vulnerabilities
- Mozilla — 30 vulnerabilities
- MySQL — 28 vulnerabilities
- Adobe — 27 vulnerabilities
- Apache — 24 vulnerabilities
Apple’s Safari browser received the most patches during the month of March 2012, while the report notes that March 2011 was another big month for Apple patches, with 93 vulnerabilities addressed in its Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems. A third of those were classed as “critical.”
The most notable vulnerability affecting the Mac in recent months is the Flashback trojan, which has recently infected over 600,000 Apple machines. Apple issued two Java updates and a Flashback removal tool to address the issue.
Apple’s iOS software seems to be much better than its desktop software, and a whole lot better than its biggest rival Android, which suffered a whopping 5,000 malicious apps during the three-month period. However, Trend Micro’s report calls this hardly surprising:
With the increased use of smartphones for Internet access and the huge Android user base, the increase in attacks targeting the platform is thus not surprising.
Apple’s “closed” approach to the iOS operating system means that all third-party apps are vetted before gaining App Store approval, so malware and viruses on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are unheard of.