Mac vs Windows – More “Statistics”

[This was originally published by the OSVDB blog.]

Yet another article comparing Mac vs Windows, and using statistics to back it up. Since this is getting to be a common occurrence, I won’t go into the usual lecture about statistics, how they can easily be manipulated to back any argument (including how VAX/VMS is the most in/secure OS in the world!), how you must fully qualify the data you used to generate your statistics, and all the other tricks that make statistics the best tool to create a convincing argument (lie?). I’m not saying this because I think Mac or Windows is more or less secure. I’m saying this because I don’t feel the following article is accurate or well written. Even the readers who commented bring up some very valid points and questions for the author. Add to that it seems that the author (George Ou) is somewhat outspoken and a fan of Microsoft, his credibility and bias toward rivals comes into question. I’d love for Secunia to officially respond to this article, since he uses their database and rating system to generate his stats.

George Ou’s relevant conclusions: Between Feb 04 and Feb 06, Mac OS X had 5 “extremely critical” (1 unpatched) vulnerabilities and MS Windows had 2 “extremely critical” (0 unpatched) vulnerabilities. Mac OS X had 173 high and 59 moderate vulns, while MS Windows had 49 high and 41 moderate vulns. Ou goes to conclude “The data is clear, and Apple has a lot more vulnerabilities of every kind ranging from moderately critical to extremely critical.

Vulnerability statistics for Mac and Windows

One of many good comments challenging the piece:[..]messageID=356498&start=-1

Past criticism of Ou’s work, and signs he may be biased toward Microsoft:

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