From: Near Portland, OR
...BTW, I read an article about a year ago on which companies are best and which are worse for security. Microsoft used to be the worst, but they have done quite a bit to tighten up security with their products. MS is now among the best. Currently the worst two for security are Apple and Adobe. The only reason Macs aren't riddled with viruses is because virus writers don't generally bother targeting minority operating systems.
I am thinking you mean malware in general not specifically virus ..
I'm not sure how much you understand about operating systems / ABI's or API's but OSX is derivied from a BSD Unix hybrid is not vulnerable to virus because of fundemental architecture differences ....
Let's see, I have a degree in Electronic Engineering and I've worked as a programmer for 25 years, most of that time at very low levels. Many times down at the hardware programming levels. I know operating systems somewhat intimately.
There is not an OS in existence that does not have vulnerabilities. Though most UNIX related kernels are better than others. All major OSs in use today (including Windows NT) have their roots in UNIX in one way or another. Microsoft modified the kernel for NT quite a bit.
Simply, implating executable code in the middle of a binary does not work on OSX because the MAGIC number/CRC would no longer match and the exec would never get loaded .. in Windows the ABI never made such a specification. Second, OSX kernel and applications run in two seperate VM spaces. Any addressing of phyiscal memory is only done through a KDI ... with all appications running in Intel non-privdged mode .. it is still quite possible for me to address phyiscal memory in windows that only "Admin rights" protect, and what games do you have that have to run in Admin mode?
One can be infected with Malware such as a Trojan Horse and or a Worm .. but installing a virus is impossible ..
The defensefor Mac from malware continues to be to seperate the hardware servives in privledged mode and ensure all applications run in non-prividleged mode but it is possible for a Trojan horse to circumvent this ..just a lot harder ..
In recent years Microsoft has tightened up their practices to a point where they are now better than Apple. Microsoft is still a more common target because Windows is much more common.
I looked for the article I read, but I can't find it. I think it was a tech e-mail newsletter I get, so it's probably been deleted.
WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer