Apple has won well-deserved plaudits for the elegance and security of its Mac OS X operating system. The worms, viruses, and assorted malware that plague users of Microsoft Windows are virtually unknown among Mac devotees. When geeks congregate, they often debate why this is. Some say the Mac’s software architecture, based on the advanced Unix operating system, is inherently more secure. Others say that since only about 3 percent of the world’s computer users own Macs, vandals rarely bother with them. The hundreds of millions of Windows machines are a juicier target.
But it’s just possible that the bad guys will develop a new interest in attacking Macs, thanks to the inclusion of a well-intentioned but risky feature of Apple’s latest upgrade to OS X, nicknamed Tiger.