Friday, December 21st 2007

U.S. Army Buys Macs to Curb Hacker Attacks

The United States Army is quietly integrating Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to attack. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington explains that fewer hack attacks have been designed to infiltrate Macs and adding more Macs to the mix makes it harder to destabilize their system. Jonathan Broskey, who once worked for Apple, argues that the Unix core at the center of Mac operating system makes it easier to lockdown. While the number of malicious software programs targeting Macs has been small in the past, it is beginning to grow. Charlie Miller, a software researcher with Security Evaluators, worries that the Army's diversification plan will not stop a determined intruder. He also explains that Apple's security is a myth and has been proven more vulnerable than Windows.Source: Forbes
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21 Comments on U.S. Army Buys Macs to Curb Hacker Attacks

#1
Basard
So, why don't they just replace the OS with linux, instead of going out and buying Macs? Maybe there are less attacks designed to infiltrate Macs because there are less Macs? What a newb. Make things easier by adding another platform to the mix?

And weren't Macs Just shown to Have more vulnerabilities to begin with? Remembering the news a couple days ago posted here.
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#2
DR.Death
lunix is not as safe as it use to be there and viruses and stuff out there for it to probly as much as there is for the mac platform
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#3
mandelore
with all their money, why dont they employ, or make a military OS for themselves, with their own security...

relying on others is bound to introduce security issues
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#4
Mandown
by: mandelore
with all their money, why dont they employ, or make a military OS for themselves, with their own security...

relying on others is bound to introduce security issues
I agree with that its better than using some other OS that is very well known. And the only reason for fewer attacks on macs is simply because there are more PC's than mac's. If people wanted to they could hack the Mac's just as easy as any other system. First thing they should do is not announce what they are going to use and why because now everyone is going to hack it even more.
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#5
mdm-adph
by: DR.Death
lunix is not as safe as it use to be there and viruses and stuff out there for it to probly as much as there is for the mac platform
Yeah... the NSA would like to differ. Why the army didn't work with them to get some Linux PC's, I don't know. Though, I can tell you that a government never misses an opportunity to spend money, even if there's a cheaper way to do something. :shadedshu
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#6
jocksteeluk
by: Basard
So, why don't they just replace the OS with linux, instead of going out and buying Macs?
Its because they are spending taxpayers money and someone is getting a backhander out of the deal.
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#7
Dangle
They need to design some kind of system that only allows incoming information - and then design a special encrypted system for outputting info. i dunno
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#8
kakazza
Linux in a huge enviroment can be a problem because you have to decide on a distribution. There's "general linux knowledge" but there are "Redhat experts", "Debian experts" and so on. Different packet managers and so on.

Tho I don't remember Apple having a business support... maybe because I never heard of a company using Macs in more than a few labs.
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#9
Basard
Yeah, they can build nuclear weapons, but they can't build their own OS.
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#10
imperialreign
Why not get smart and go with full-fledged UNIX instead of OSX or Linux?
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#11
WhiteLotus
im sure they could have just built a massive firewall
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#12
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Lo !
And just the other day we got news of security vulnerabilities for Mac OS X going up this year exponentially.:rolleyes:

As long as they're not taking iPod to their departments, my guess would be a stable custom built Linux would serve the purpose of data-safekeeping.
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#13
xXxJiggabobxXx
Why don't they just not announce they're buying macs, then maybe people won't design attacks for them...
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#14
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Just because they announced something does not necessarily mean they are doing that. If you were a military structure wouldn't you try to use diversion as a tool?

Anyway ...

It does not matter what the US military uses as whatever they do will be leaked to the press and everyone will know anyway at some point, just like any other government that isn't under totalitarian rule.

If the mil tried to write their own OS, they would have to start from scratch and would encounter the same security pitfalls that all the major OS makers have been fighting for years. Why re-invent the wheel?

Macs? Windows? Unix? It really doesn''t matter as the people who are determined to hack into the military networks will find a way. It's just a matter of time.

They are better off spending their money on ways of making communications secure and intrusion almost impossible with an existing OS, than writing a new one.

Just my thoughts.
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#15
wazzledoozle
If they really wanted to be secure, they would have to build their own proprietary version of linux for their own internal use. Major web companies like amazon and google already do that to run their servers.

Amazon wont even tell you what they base their server OS on until you sign an NDA.

It's pretty sad that the US spends more than half its budget on the military, but the morons can't get up a competent, secure computer network.

532.8 billion $USD this year alone.
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#16
Dangle
If we just nuked every country besides America, we wouldn't need to worry about which kind of computers our military uses.
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#17
wazzledoozle
by: Dangle
If we just nuked every country besides America, we wouldn't need to worry about which kind of computers our military uses.
We wouldn't have to worry about anything, because we would all be dead.
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#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
If WW III is fought with nukes, WW IV would be fought with bows and arrows.....guess who said this for a cookie.

Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't it way easier to hack a mac than a Wintel running a decent software firewall (ZA, Sygate..)?
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#19
Ravenas
Macs are pretty easy to lockdown; I wouldn't be surprised if the US army is using Mac server OSes (which is where Mac really shines). Pretty surprised the US Army is using Mac though, although Apple does give good government prices.
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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
its more cost effective for the military to purchase someone elses OS rather than build there own.
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#21
1c3d0g
:banghead: It amazes me that the U.S. Army completely overlooked OpenBSD. It's one of the most secure O.S. ever built, and with their ample resources I'm confident they could produce one hell of an O.S. based on it. Too bad Steve Jobs or some other ignorant prick had a hand in this deal. No software engineer worth his salt would recommend a Mac over GNU/Linux or a *BSD. This is clearly a short-sighted business deal, nothing more. It certainly will NOT improve security at all, most probably it will worsen it, considering Apple's stance on security and the gaping holes that are found every day. :shadedshu
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