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For the sake of this topic though, consider operating systems and specifically MS Windows and Apple OS products.  As technologists you may have already heard the arguments that Apple was more secure than Windows, and you may have also heard that the reason why is due to the lower number of units in the world running their operating system.  What we must question then in 2013 is if this notion is true or not, in order to make a recommendation to others. For context, here is one article that relates to this example: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57410476-37/apples-security-code-of-silence-a-big-problem/.

Here's the question to discuss:

Is it possible in 2013 for Apple to claim a "security by obscurity" policy in defense of those critical against their security methods?  How might Apple computer adjust their practices to deviate from this notion?  Do you feel any operating system in use today is by default "secure" solely by being "obscure"?

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Apple company are claiming security by obscurity works and users tend to believe them but security experts caution against it, saying it is a myth that is being propagated by Apple

First of all, security by obscurity is where a system does not have security features or tools added to it because the way and means to operate the system is not open to the general public. Apple believes that as long as few people know how to operate the systems. Their systems will be okay because you cannot pose a security threat to something you do not know how to operate. However, we are living in a new century, data leaks, information finds its way to people who should not have it. Experts say that there are strains of viruses on Apple products and therefore security by obscurity should not be an idea that is strongly supported because it can lead to a lot of loss for Apple users. The threat to Apple devices from malware and virus is real and offering security by obscurity as is stated by Apple manufacturers is not safe to secure Apple users from virus and malware. A little information on the hand of wrong people, can cause a lot of harm to Apple users.

 

References

Derrick, W. (2014, April 7). The-apple-myth-why-security-through-obscurity-isnt-security. Retrieved frombetanews.com: https://betanews.com/2014/04/07/the-apple-myth-why-security-through-obscurity-isnt-security/

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In 2012, the Flashback Trojan has crossed the security border claimed by Apple. It was real challenge to Apple who is claiming “Security by obscurity”. Until then the Apple has claimed that their devices don’t require antivirus as they have inbuilt security system which can take care of any malicious attacks.

Apple took innovative approach to solve the issue. They had released 3 new updates in a week to mitigate the risks from Flashback Trojan. It has helped destroying the threat completely and also introduced a proactive approach to reducing the security risk. Meanwhile, the business opportunity grabbed by other security company as soon as the news broke about the Flashback Trojan, the sale of Mac security software trial version got increased substantially due to this attack. In 2013, it would have been difficult for Apple to make people believe their obscurity theory for security. But they played smart and stick to their claim of security by obscurity. Rather opting for open-source solution or antivirus, they have provided security solution in their software update. In this way, they dealt the problem which they had encountered in 2012 and by proactive approach, they eliminated risks for upcoming security risks and stick with their claim. With enabling firewall, disabling Java in browser, keeping software up-to-date and avoiding opening unknown files the threats can still be avoided in Mac without any additional security software.          

According to me it is difficult the remain safe under the shelter of obscurity. In long run, there is a possibility of cyberattacking through the loop hole. It’s just a matter of time until then it’s safe. Just what has happened to Apple in 2012. It can happen with any of the operating systems. But I think I would rather prefer commercial or open-source solutions. The code is tested till the very last element and security weaknesses can be identified and fixed immediately.   

References:

Dignan, Larry. (April 06, 2012). Apple’s security code of silence: A big problem. Cnet. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/apples-security-code-of-silence-a-big-problem/

Mogull, Rich. (April 06, 2012). What you need to know about the Flashback Trojan. Macworld.Retrieved from https://www.macworld.com/article/1166254/what_you_need_to_know_about_the_flashback_trojan.html

Wheelar, Evan. (2011). Security Risk Management: Building an information security risk management program from the ground up. Waltham, Massachusetts: Syngress.

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