Kaspersky CEO: Apple Is “10 Years Behind Microsoft In Terms Of Security”

Kaspersky CEO: Apple Is “10 Years Behind Microsoft In Terms Of Security”

Kaspersky believes Apple needs to invest more into Mac OS X security as more and more malware infections appear.

One of the main reasons many of us turned to Apple’s machines and its OS X operating system is the belief that the company’s software is more secure than Windows, its biggest rival. However, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky, one of the industry’s leading security specialists, believes that Apple is “10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security,” and that Apple need to invest more into security audits for its software.

Thanks to the relatively success Flashback trojan that recently found its way onto more than 600,000 Macs, Kaspersky believes it’s only a matter of time before cyber criminals progress to create “more and more” malware for the Mac. He also predicts Apple will soon be facing the “same problems Microsoft had ten or 12 years ago.”

Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system was famously prone to a number of serious security risks, which forced the company to release Service Pack 2, which featured significant improvements to the software’s security. “Many believe that this engineering effort subsequently slowed down the development of future operating systems like Windows Vista,” The Verge reports.

And Kaspersky believes Apple must now make changes to the frequency of its own Mac OS X releases, spending more time on security audits for each release. “They [Apple] will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software,” Kaspersky says.

Apple has been quick to address security vulnerabilities — such as the Flashback trojan — in the past, and the company will soon introduce Mountain Lion, the next major release of OS X, which offers a new feature called Gatekeeper that is intended to prevent malicious infections from being installed on a Mac.

Of course, it could be argued that Kaspersky’s claims are exaggerated in a bid to encourage you to purchase the company’s antivirus products for Mac. However, there’s no denying that malware is becoming an issue for Mac users, and that we need to take it seriously.

[CBR Online via The Verge]

Related
  • Ed_Kel

    If Microsoft’s idea of security is close to 100 updates every week, then yes, Apple is WAY far behind!

  • Dahlijo

    Thank you Kaspersky for letting me know! now that you’ve really made me terrified of going online, could you please sell me an overpriced, dumb and useless Anti-Virus Bundle so I can sleep at night! fuck off will you!

  • Richard Migneron

    Hummm, there has been viruses on Windows for so long, and M$ has don’t done a much to eradicate the problem. They let other companies solve this problem, and users need to have a program running all the time on their machine that doesn’t help a bit in productivity. USELESS !

    If that’s their idea of being ahead, I prefer to stay behind !

    They are completely bullshit ! They are afraid for their business, instead of trying to innovate …

  • gavernmusic

    Oh please! How naive do they think we are. Apple is far ahead of Microsoft by atleast 10 decades. That’s why I’ve never had a virus! Also, yes I know Macs can expect more attacks from virus makers (you know predominantly the companies who make anti-virus software) and of course they will make a statement like this which is an utter load of rubbish as the English say. Of the amount of macs that have ever been infected with a Trojan or virus the percentage ratio in comparison with a rounded figure in terms of users compared to Microsoft is like night and day. Plus you can bet that it’s a Microsoft related affiliate that designs the viruses. Thanks for helping advertise their product, and your ending statement is grossly unexagerated to say the least.

  • Steven Hoh

    … and Microsoft is how years behind Apple on OS stability amongst other shortcomings ? …

  • nefan65

    Translation: People who own MS Windows buy our products, and those who own Macs don’t. So we’ll spread FUD around, and hope people will buy into our garbage products.

  • davelees1

    Of course Apple is behind, since Microsoft has been doing this every week for 10 years.

    Kaspersky is an A-HOLE, and I bet he runs all Mac’s at home. Don’t buy there crap software!

  • Nicolas Maton

    wow what a load of crap … first of all the vulnerability lies in java .. not in the mac os x os .. second of all the security of mac is as *nix like = that means excellent … kaspersky is notiriously known to slowdown and even crash windows boxes …

  • cozmot

    Kaspersky, Norton, and other AV companies have been crying wolf for years. And how they earnestly hope that the wolf appears! It hasn’t, and it won’t, so “wolf!”, “wolf!” No doubt each time they do this they rake in a few hundred bucks, but most of the Mac community isn’t buying this horseshit. We don’t need their parasitical programs slowing down our computers. And if their AV software is so great, why do computers that use it still get infected with viruses and malware?

  • kgMaestro

    I notice he left out the fact that both recent instances were through 3rd party software; Java and MICROSOFT Word… I don’t know, I can’t really say I’m all that worried.

  • OptyCTCP

    From a pure security standpoint Kaspersky is correct. A Mac security expert was once quoted as saying, “Windows is the house in a bad neighborhood with bars on the windows, and OSX is the unlocked farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.” So, Windows is less safe, but more secure. Whereas, OSX is safer but less secure. I know which “neighborhood” I’d choose to live in.

  • Eduardo Moraz

    I´m 10 years or more behind Microsoft. And I feel fine…

  • lwdesign1

    Anti-virus/malware companies have been rattling their chains and howling in the night for years about how unsafe the Mac is, and how all us Apple users will be in trouble soon–you just wait!! In the 23 years since I’ve been using Macs at work and at home, I’ve had exactly ONE virus in 1996 back on OS 9, which was quickly eradicated by Apple. Now this new trojan appears and the anti-virus/malware companies are crowing about “see, we were right!!!!” when again, Apple has fixed the problem quickly and I haven’t seen it on any of the 5 Macs we use. Let’s translate this into cash: Kaspersky wants me to spend $39.95 a year on their software–but to handle what? One trojan that Apple fixed for free that I’ve never seen and has never touched my Macs?

  • Downs

    Comcast gives Norton Internet Security away for free for subscribers, but there’s tons of mac av’s/anti-malwares and what not for Macs. As long as you keep up-to-date and don’t click foolish links you’ll usually be fine. The kind of person who gets an infected Mac would be the same kind of person who ends up getting a completely viral zombie of a windows machine. For anyone who’s not at least a terminal sudo hacker, there’s “IceFloor” ( a free app that lets you tick off/on features to enhance Mac’s own built in firewall. But back to Norton, the only reason I like it is because they bought out Sygate Personal Firewall a few years back and that was one of my favorites for customizability. Norton still includes the same setting where you can set certain IP addresses to be blocked, allowed, or asked for access. Example: allow any IP address starting with 17.0.0.0/8 because 17 is Apple’s (unless someone runs a fake). For a list of known IP Adds, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assigned_/8_IPv4_address_blocks

    Other than that, keep up to date and be careful with what you click (but anyone reading this probably already knows all this stuff). There’s a ton of more security features you can run like if you flash your wi-fi router with DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, FreeWRT, Chilfire, or Gargoyle…all have more advanced settings that unlock the full features that your router was intended to have.

    But to Kaspersky, CEO: you’re ten years behind in having a life. And to Apple, you’re the big guy in the stock market now, so people don’t see you as the little indie-tech they used to, and they also have a foolish assumption that Mac users are idiots. For those two reasons they’re attacking Mac’s more and more. So please, for the average users (ex: non-power-users) out there, please step it up a notch and include a built in AV/Anti-Malware/Anti-Spyware service that automatically updates with or without user permission.

  • Downs

    Comcast gives Norton Internet Security away for free for subscribers, but there’s tons of mac av’s/anti-malwares and what not for Macs. As long as you keep up-to-date and don’t click foolish links you’ll usually be fine. The kind of person who gets an infected Mac would be the same kind of person who ends up getting a completely viral zombie of a windows machine. For anyone who’s not at least a terminal sudo hacker, there’s “IceFloor” ( a free app that lets you tick off/on features to enhance Mac’s own built in firewall. But back to Norton, the only reason I like it is because they bought out Sygate Personal Firewall a few years back and that was one of my favorites for customizability. Norton still includes the same setting where you can set certain IP addresses to be blocked, allowed, or asked for access. Example: allow any IP address starting with 17.0.0.0/8 because 17 is Apple’s (unless someone runs a fake). For a list of known IP Adds, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assigned_/8_IPv4_address_blocks

    Other than that, keep up to date and be careful with what you click (but anyone reading this probably already knows all this stuff). There’s a ton of more security features you can run like if you flash your wi-fi router with DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, FreeWRT, Chilfire, or Gargoyle…all have more advanced settings that unlock the full features that your router was intended to have.

    But to Kaspersky, CEO: you’re ten years behind in having a life. And to Apple, you’re the big guy in the stock market now, so people don’t see you as the little indie-tech they used to, and they also have a foolish assumption that Mac users are idiots. For those two reasons they’re attacking Mac’s more and more. So please, for the average users (ex: non-power-users) out there, please step it up a notch and include a built in AV/Anti-Malware/Anti-Spyware service that automatically updates with or without user permission.

  • imajoebob

    Is the fact that your page never seems to stop loading, links to 47 other sites, continues to change every 11 seconds, or that it won’t accept my user login a sign that Kaspersky isn’t actually a lying sack of shit, or that your latest layout has CoM FUBARed?

  • dpatrie

    Funny. Kaspersky Internet Security was worse than any malware, causing my CPU to run to 100% and stay there rendering the rest of the computer useless until I uninstalled it and went with Microsoft’s own products. Kaspersky just hit the same level of useless as Norton/Symantec. Disgusting. What’s the point when the antivirus is more potent at screwing up your computing experience than any malware designed to be?

  • ApplePr0n

    So because Apple doesn’t have viruses as much, they are behind Microsoft… Which gets more viruses. Got it *uninstalls Kaspersky from computer*

  • drblank

    I haven’t gotten any spam emails on my mac in years. The only emails I get are from those that I signed up for. I used to get spam emails YEARS ago on my Mac, but whatever has been done, I don’t see anymore VIagra or any other annoying junk emails. I wonder why?

  • drblank

    Microsoft bundles various software which is a way Microsoft derives revenue. Apple has plenty of antivirus software products on the market. Some are free, some you pay for. With WIndows, when you buy a desktop or laptop from Dell, or HP, etc., they have various third party software almost like an automatic purchase, which is how they derive more revenue (profit), but it doesn’t prevent virus attacks, it just detects them and hopefully fixes it when these companies have the updates to their antivirus software available. Apple just doesn’t have it as an automatic purchase. They leave it up to the user to decide if and which one. Apple releases security patches when they find a portion of their OS that needs to be patched, just like WIndows does. In some cases, it is a third party problem as in Java. Java SHOULD be maintained BY SUN, but Apple had it as part of their OS. But people can elect to turn it off, if they want to. I think Kaspersky’s statements are very misleading. Plus, Kaspersky’s supposed Flashback software didn’t work from what I read. To say that because Apple’s market share is the reason why there are less virus attacks is conjecture. There is no valid proof of that. Will there be more viruses or malware? Yes, but until there is a rash of them on OS X, then there really is nothing to talk about. One malware gets headlines because it is rare on the Mac. The WIndows community is just desensitized to viruses and malware since there are so many.

  • technochick

    consider that Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft because their need is 10 years behind Microsoft’s.

    After all, what actual damage has any of this Mac malware done. How many computers were remotely wiped etc by some hideous virus. Flashback apparently just hijacks the ads you click on so that they credit a different account for all referrals (that account being the one for the makers of the trojan). That whole MacProtector thing was a phish to get credit cards, no actual damage to the computers. and so on
  • technochick

    I notice he left out the fact that both recent instances were through 3rd party software; Java and MICROSOFT Word… I don’t know, I can’t really say I’m all that worried.

    yep. how many of these malware were directly connected to Mac OS and not via some non Apple software. of the dozen or perhaps 2 dozen incidents, maybe 3 at most. The rest were thanks to Office, Java etc. 

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |