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IE security hole leads to cookie jar (Get A Mac!)
c|net ^ | 11/09/01 | Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Posted on 11/09/2001 10:40:49 AM PST by toupsie

IE security hole leads to cookie jar
By Stefanie Olsen
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
November 9, 2001, 11:05 a.m. PT
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-7828689.html?tag=prntfr

Microsoft has warned that versions of Internet Explorer can expose consumers' personal data contained within cookies.

The vulnerability exists within IE 5.5 and 6.0, but earlier browser editions "may or may not be affected," according to a security bulletin posted to Microsoft's Web site Thursday. The security flaw allows an outsider to break into cookies--tiny electronic files used by Web sites to file account information or personalize pages--through a specially crafted Web page or e-mail. A person could then steal or alter data from Web accounts, including credit card numbers, usernames and passwords.

"A malicious Web site with a malformed URL could read the contents of a user's cookie, which might contain personal information," according to the Redmond, Wash.-based company. "In addition, it is possible to alter the contents of the cookie. This URL could be hosted on a Web page or contained in an HTML e-mail."

The vulnerability comes only a week after security flaws were found in Microsoft's Passport authentication system, causing the software maker to remove the service from the Internet. The privacy breach in the Passport service, which keeps track of data used by e-commerce sites, potentially exposed the financial data of thousands of consumers, undermining the company's recent efforts to convince people that it is serious about security.

Privacy and security expert Richard Smith verified the IE security flaw by writing a tiny bit of JavaScript to hijack information contained in a cookie.

"I couldn't believe how easy it is," Smith said. "The danger here is that once you get somebody's cookie information for a particular Web site, you can get access to that account, whether it's private financial information or travel records."

Microsoft, which labeled the security problem "high" risk, said it is working on a patch. Meanwhile, the company is urging IE users to disable active scripting in the their browser settings. In addition, consumers using Outlook Express should set their preferences within the mail program to allow only "Restricted Sites" to load, according to the company.

To disable active scripting in IE, open the Tools menu in the browser, followed by Internet Options and then the tab for Security. Next, open the Custom Level option; in the Settings box, scroll down to the Scripting section. Click Disable under "Active scripting" and "Scripting of Java applets." Click OK, and then click OK again.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
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Once again, major security snafu on Windows that leads a hacker directly to your personal information. Thank god, I use Mac OS on the Desktop and BSD on the Server. Now they are saying that the XP in Windows XP stands for eXtra Porous.
1 posted on 11/09/2001 10:40:50 AM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
It might make more sense (and generate fewer postings) if we simply posted a message on any day that a new security problem in Microsoft's products wasn't found! LOL!

John (running Mandrake Linux 8.1)

2 posted on 11/09/2001 10:53:48 AM PST by Johnny B.
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To: toupsie
Now they are saying that the XP in Windows XP stands for eXtra Porous. LOL!
3 posted on 11/09/2001 10:57:19 AM PST by newzjunkey
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To: toupsie; Bush2000; CheneyChick; fish hawk
Once again, major security snafu on Windows that leads a hacker directly to your personal information. Thank god, I use Mac OS on the Desktop and BSD on the Server. Now they are saying that the XP in Windows XP stands for eXtra Porous.

OS Disagree-ku
===========
Perhaps, real problem
Is, why cookies we must use,
Not choice of OS....

4 posted on 11/09/2001 10:59:46 AM PST by bwteim
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To: Johnny B.
You are correct sir! :)

On a side note, Mandrake 8.1 has an awesome graphical installer, I played around with it about a month ago. Its almost as nice as the Mac OS X graphic installer :).

5 posted on 11/09/2001 11:10:31 AM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
The last time I downloaded an IE patch, I ended up having to reformat and reload everything. But, since there isn't any competition....
6 posted on 11/09/2001 11:34:22 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: toupsie
...I use Mac OS...

LOL

7 posted on 11/09/2001 11:35:38 AM PST by wysiwyg
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To: toupsie
nice post but

1. a mac is twice the cost of a comparable pc. you pay (and pay and pay everytime you buy a new mac peripheral).

2. hackers don't bother to look for bugs in mac software because nobody (less than 10% of pc users) uses macs. if macs became popular, you'd have monthly reports of mac bugs, too. (well, maybe only half as many but reports but you'd still see bunches of mac bug reports.)

no hacker cares about finding new mac bugs! that's why there are no mac bug reports.

8 posted on 11/09/2001 11:43:30 AM PST by John Hines
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To: toupsie
At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors should have issued a press release stating: "If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1.  For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2.  Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3.  Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.  You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the car windows, shut it off, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.  For some reason you would simply accept this.

4.  Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5.  Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT," but then you would have to buy more seats

6.  Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive- but would only run on five percent of the roads.

7.  The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light. 

8.  New seats would force everyone to have the same sized butt.

9.  The airbag system would ask "are you SURE?" before deploying.

10.  Occasionally, for no !  !  reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

11.  GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally Road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need nor want them.  Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more.  Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Dept.

12.  Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13.  You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off
 

9 posted on 11/09/2001 11:43:58 AM PST by aaaDOC
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To: Figit
bump
10 posted on 11/09/2001 11:46:48 AM PST by homeschool mama
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To: toupsie
I don't think this is limited to IE on Windows, is it? If you are using IE on MacOS, you're still vulnerable.

I personally don't use any Microsoft stuff, thankfully. Not that I have the option...since I run Linux on all my machines. :-)

11 posted on 11/09/2001 11:51:58 AM PST by B Knotts
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To: John Hines
(and pay and pay everytime you buy a new mac peripheral).

OK...it's true that Macs are more expensive, but this part hasn't been true for some time. All modern Macs are PCI-based (as all most modern Suns; even the E10K has PCI slots in addition to SBus).

12 posted on 11/09/2001 11:55:18 AM PST by B Knotts
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To: toupsie; eno_; Bush2000; Dominic Harr; Martin Tell; Texbob; amigatec; Texaggie79; Hank Hill...
Mozilla Bump!
13 posted on 11/09/2001 12:02:06 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: avg_freeper; AlGone2001; CheneyChick; Martin Tell; Rodney King; oc-flyfish; BlueLancer; hchutch...
bump!
14 posted on 11/09/2001 12:04:48 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Oh no! Here we go again. Stainless, are you trying to stir things up? On a Friday afternoon, no less!
15 posted on 11/09/2001 12:32:01 PM PST by Martin Tell
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To: toupsie
From what little info is in the article, it appears there is a security hole only if the user intentionally leaves all the security options off. Kinda like leaving your car running with the doors unlocked, and claiming you "found" a security flaw in the car's design. If on the other hand, you practice just the slightest bit of security, you are safe.

Apple must be lagging in sales, these "flaws" are getting more and more silly, lol.

16 posted on 11/09/2001 12:42:44 PM PST by fnord
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To: John Hines
No offense, John, but do you even know what you are talking about? I can buy a brand spanking new Macintosh, today, for $499. Unless all PCs are selling for $250, I don't see how all Macs cost twice as much as PCs. The top of the line PowerBook G4 is *LESS* expensive than a Sony Vaio and has a 1.2" larger screen. I have no clue about having to pay and pay for a mac peripheral. All my USB peripherals are Mac and PC compatible. About anything you can install on a PC, I can use on my Mac. What is even cooler, I can run Windows software, Unix software, Java apps, BeOS apps, and old Mac OS 6/7/8/9 programs on my Mac. There is more software available for Mac OS X than Windows because of this ability.

As for hackers. Hackers don't care about the OS. They care about taking over computers so they can use them for nefarious purposes. By your logic, hackers would not go after Solaris (Sun) or Tru64 (DEC Alpha) or OS/400 (IBM) but they do. If Macs were cars, they would have a larger market share than Chrysler. Most computer companies would drool themselves dry if they sold as many computers a year as Apple not to mention that Apple is the only CPU manufacturer that is making a profit in these tough economic times. The reason that hackers go after Microsoft products is due to their poor design. Why beat your head against the wall hacking a UNIX/BSD based Operating System like Mac OS X which is rock solid when Microsoft makes it so easy to gain access to root of the OS over a network connection.

But the best thing about Mac OS X is you don't have to buy anti-virus software, firewalls, access control software and disk repair utils. As a bonus, you are never posting Virus/Worm alerts on Free Republic.

If you have never used a Mac or don't understand the Mac Operating Systems, I would hold your tongue. Mac users love to laugh at the misconceptions that Windows (L)users have about our equipment.

17 posted on 11/09/2001 12:42:50 PM PST by toupsie
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To: fnord
This is a result of the default install. Most Windows users don't have a clue how to change the default install.
18 posted on 11/09/2001 12:43:42 PM PST by toupsie
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To: B Knotts
This problem is limited to Windows. The IE for Mac OS operates in a different fashion in regards to cookies. Microsoft admits its Macintosh products are better than their Windows equivs. Wired just had a big article on Microsoft Office v. X and how the Windows division couldn't replicate the amazing features from Mac version because Windows XP just "isn't there yet".
19 posted on 11/09/2001 12:51:15 PM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
The package said "Works best with Windows95 or better" .... So I installed LINUX!!

RedHat 7.2 Rocks!!!
20 posted on 11/09/2001 12:52:24 PM PST by borg
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Where I work the Linux servers were all infected with some kind of worm. The brass decided to replace them with Windows servers
21 posted on 11/09/2001 1:04:49 PM PST by Virginia-American
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To: borg
I just installed RedHat 7.2 on a server I just pulled from the field so I could play around with KDE 2. Pretty sharp. Still not the yummy goodness of Darwin/Quartz/Aqua that is Mac OS X but its getting close. Supposively, Mac OS X is going to get a Linux compatibility layer for binaries soon from the LinuxPPC project.

On a side note, Apple actually made its own distro of Linux in the mid-90s called MkLinux. It was a test bed for the mach kernel that is used in Mac OS X.

22 posted on 11/09/2001 1:05:09 PM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
Maybe some Mac genius could place another button on the mouse so I don't have to travel ALL THE WAY across a HUGE monitor to adjust bold text...

Macs suck.

23 posted on 11/09/2001 1:12:00 PM PST by Benrand
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To: Benrand
Get any USB multi-button mouse and plug it into the Mac. Begin right-clicking immediately with no driver installation. Problem solved.
24 posted on 11/09/2001 1:15:30 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: toupsie
Nice work, toupsie.

Cheers, CC :)

25 posted on 11/09/2001 1:25:17 PM PST by CheneyChick
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To: Benrand
Maybe some Mac genius could place another button on the mouse so I don't have to travel ALL THE WAY across a HUGE monitor to adjust bold text

Well you most certainly are not a genius because you don't have a clue how a Macintosh works. The Mac I am using right now has 6 mouse buttons on my trackball that's 4 more buttons than a standard PC mouse. So if the number of mouse buttons makes an OS better by your logic, PCs really suck. Plus on my Mac, all I have to do to change text to BOLD is select the text and say "Bold". The built in Speech Input system in a Macintosh is amazing. I can almost voice control the entire operating system and applications. That isn't some add on but something that is built into the Operating System.

26 posted on 11/09/2001 1:27:31 PM PST by toupsie
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To: aimhigh
The last time I downloaded an IE patch, I ended up having to reformat and reload everything. But, since there isn't any competition....

There's competition! Why not try Opera?

27 posted on 11/09/2001 1:30:46 PM PST by Timesink
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To: ThinkDifferent
Exactly! But the way the Mac OS was designed, you only need one button on your mouse to work. I can't you the number of hours I have wasted in my life instructing Windows users on which mouse button they should use to complete an operation. My favorite question, "How do I know if I am clicking the 'RIGHT' mouse button? Will something light up on my computer that will tell me that its correct?".
28 posted on 11/09/2001 1:33:32 PM PST by toupsie
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To: Benrand
The Logitech mouse I'm currently using on my G4 has 5 buttons.
What exactly is the sixth button going to do for you that the other five haven't?

As for security risks, it is foolish to point fingers at other platforms too much.

Security requires further vigilance than relying on your computer maker to keep the bad guys out.

Up till now we in the Mac community have been "lucky" that our systems and AppleTalk networking
were not prevalent among hackers.

That has drastically changed with the freeBSD underpinnings in our OS.

From known problems in the 'NIX community with Apache and Perl/cgi to new issues with Apple's
implementation of iDisk we need to stop pointing fingers and start rooting out our own problems.

my .02

29 posted on 11/09/2001 1:34:00 PM PST by avg_freeper
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To: toupsie
Eventually, there will be a truly devastating virus, one that causes massive worldwide data destruction causing trillions of dollars in damage. (Whether it will be Islamic terrorism or just some lone 23-year-old geek, is up for grabs.) When this happens, and only Windows users are affected by it, only then will people finally understand the true insidiousness and willful neglect of Microsoft.
30 posted on 11/09/2001 1:34:13 PM PST by Timesink
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To: toupsie
You see, I don't use a brand new Mac, I have one that is somewhat old and has a stock mouse with ONE BUTTON...

iMacs come with ONE button...in fact, I think all of them come with ONE button. Stupid design. Most techs I know agree wholeheartedly.

31 posted on 11/09/2001 1:38:05 PM PST by Benrand
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To: toupsie
"How do I know if I am clicking the 'RIGHT' mouse button? Will something light up on my computer that will tell me that its correct?".

Yep, these are the 4% who probably SHOULD be using Macs.

32 posted on 11/09/2001 1:43:42 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: Virginia-American
"Where I work the Linux servers were all infected with some kind of worm. The brass decided to replace them with Windows servers."

An expensive and unnecessary move imo. I got a linux virtual root trojan via a Windows '98 HD while booted in Windows. Some viruses are made to load vai Windows and attack linux and vice-versa since they can pass unrecognized thru each OS's virus scanner.

My solution was to dump '98; write 0s to the linux HD; reload Mandrake 8.1 and put XPpro (fat32) on the zeroed-out Windows drive and reload my database. Worked like a charm. The name of the virus was CodeRed.C. It's an NT4-based virus. It has 3 NT4 payloads and uses the 2000 Server exploit simply for transmission.

The NT5 OSs are nice though. However, you can pay $400 for XPpro's protected memory and file system or get the same for free using Mandrake 8.1 with JFS:Reiser partitioning.

33 posted on 11/09/2001 1:46:25 PM PST by Justa
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To: Benrand
Most techs I know agree wholeheartedly.

And there's your problem. Macs are not designed for techs, they are designed for normal people. You and I have no trouble with 5-button mice and scroll wheels, but not everyone is as comfortable with computers. Macs are designed to be completely usable with one button, while taking advantage of extra buttons if available, which seems like a good decision to me. I do agree that the "professional" Mac models (G4 towers) should ship with a multi-button mouse, but it's a minor quibble.

34 posted on 11/09/2001 1:48:11 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: Benrand
iMacs come with ONE button...in fact, I think all of them come with ONE button. Stupid design. Most techs I know agree wholeheartedly.

Do any of these "techs" actually know how a Macintosh operates or are they the typical tech that only supports what their $5,000 MSCE course taught them? And what is a tech? Someone that works for me, an Administrator. If you are focused on the number of buttons on your mouse, it sounds like a personal problem. The fewer number input devices required to run a computer is better not more. A computer is supposed to reduce work load not increase confusion.

35 posted on 11/09/2001 1:48:18 PM PST by toupsie
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To: Justa
The NT5 OSs are nice though. However, you can pay $400 for XPpro's protected memory and file system or get the same for free using Mandrake 8.1 with JFS:Reiser partitioning.

Have you tried out ext3? I am having fun with my backup database server pushing a high load on it and pulling the power plug on it to see it recover without skipping a beat. I have to try out JFS:Reiser.

36 posted on 11/09/2001 1:51:10 PM PST by toupsie
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To: ThinkDifferent
And there's your problem. Macs are not designed for techs, they are designed for normal people

I would have to disagree. Mac OS X is perfect for "Techs". The power of BSD/UNIX with the ease and speed of Mac. DROOL!!!

37 posted on 11/09/2001 1:53:14 PM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
Thanks for your post. I didn't know about this problem.
38 posted on 11/09/2001 1:53:49 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: toupsie
I think ext3 is RH's name for JFS. Ext3 pretty much = JFS:Reiser and JFS:X. I read a comparision and Reiser's a little better than X. Oh, and I did the power-off test right away. No sense loading an OS if the files system doesn't 'test-out'. It came back fine -and in about a min!

I tried to break JFS:Reiser on Mandrake 8.1beta2 and succeeded on the second attempt. The reworked JFS:Reiser for 8.1final survived 3 attempts so I'm using that now (along with XPpro on another channel). They're both great imo but Linux's security is (of course) better since it's not shell based.

39 posted on 11/09/2001 2:29:34 PM PST by Justa
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To: toupsie
OK, I haven't touched a Mac in 15 years, but this new OS X sounds interesting. Previous Apple OS were not very open, and it was darn near impossible to write apps for them. But OS X seems to be something that a programmer could get into. Am I correct ? Or is programming still taboo on Apple systems?

If OS X is programmable, and I wanted to get it, what is the best system to go for? Is it upgradeable/tweakable?

Can you post links to some info and impartial reviews?

40 posted on 11/09/2001 2:44:05 PM PST by fnord
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To: fnord
But OS X seems to be something that a programmer could get into. Am I correct ? Or is programming still taboo on Apple systems?

Mac OS X is fantastic for programmers. You have a full Unix underneath the UI, and Apple's developer tools are free; they come with the OS X retail package and you can download them from the web. The Cocoa API is the best I've seen on any system. Apple is definitely encouraging third party developers much more than they have in the past.

41 posted on 11/09/2001 2:53:32 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: toupsie; borg
I just brought up my redhat 7.2 box the other night. just getting into the nuts and bolts of it - I do like KDE.
42 posted on 11/09/2001 3:08:22 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: ThinkDifferent
Apple is definitely encouraging third party developers much more than they have in the past.

Well, that is a change! Thanks, guess I'll have to read up on it and look into maybe purchasing. One can never have too many computers, can one?

43 posted on 11/09/2001 3:11:25 PM PST by fnord
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To: ThinkDifferent
The Cocoa API is the best I've seen on any system.

Outside of REALbasic, Cocoa is the fastest development system I have used. I am moving over a lot of the systems I wrote for Tru64 (I am a closet DEC Alpha fan) over to Mac OS X because of Cocoa. Easy as pie!

44 posted on 11/09/2001 4:14:05 PM PST by toupsie
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To: toupsie
No offense, John, but do you even know what you are talking about? I can buy a brand spanking new Macintosh, today, for $499.

Why don't you provide a link so we can do a side-by-side comparison.

As for hackers. Hackers don't care about the OS. They care about taking over computers so they can use them for nefarious purposes. By your logic, hackers would not go after Solaris (Sun) or Tru64 (DEC Alpha) or OS/400 (IBM) but they do.

Nonsense. Hackers generally target a particular platform in order to do the most damage. But the best thing about Mac OS X is you don't have to buy anti-virus software, firewalls, access control software and disk repair utils.

Nothing like having a monopoly on software and hardware -- and keeping competition at a distance. Isn't this what Microsoft was accused of doing?

As a bonus, you are never posting Virus/Worm alerts on Free Republic.

Are you really stupid enough to suggest that the Mac does not have bugs, viruses, and patches? Because I'll slam dunk your ass with bug reports, if you like.
45 posted on 11/09/2001 4:33:43 PM PST by Bush2000
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To: aimhigh
"But, since there isn't any competition.... "

Get real. Ever heard of netscape? Linux?

46 posted on 11/09/2001 4:51:09 PM PST by PatrioticAmerican
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To: Bush2000
Nothing like having a monopoly on software and hardware -- and keeping competition at a distance. Isn't this what Microsoft was accused of doing?

The consumer version of Mac OS X does not come with any virus protection software.

It does come with the same firewall that is intalled with any freeBSD distribution.

It is not set up by default and must be configured via the command line or a third party utility.

The firewall is not strictly an Apple product though (no monopoly there).

I do believe that Microsoft should be as free as Apple or any other company to legally engage in business
the way they see fit.

Apple would do fine along side an unrestrained Microsoft.


BTW, my spell checker continuously tries to replace"freeBSD" with "freebased"
Richard Pryor jokes aside, this really freaks me out.
47 posted on 11/09/2001 5:42:56 PM PST by avg_freeper
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To: toupsie
Good job. I was too tired of this arguement to bother with it, but I am happy to see that you did, and a good job it was.

My company, almost 18 years old now, uses Macs because we get more work work done in a day than we could with PCs. And that is for me, the end of the story.

Thanks

48 posted on 11/09/2001 5:58:22 PM PST by Octar
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To: toupsie
Wired just had a big article on Microsoft Office v. X and how the Windows division couldn't replicate the amazing features from Mac version because Windows XP just "isn't there yet".


I searched Wired for that, but couldn't find it. PLEASE tell me you have a link to it. Thanks.

49 posted on 11/09/2001 8:06:42 PM PST by gratefulwharffratt
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To: Octar
I've used both. I got to come down on the Mac side. My company which has several G4s, G3s, Imacs, still has a MacIIfx -- circa 1990 -- set up. It was in daily use four months ago. We had long since discarded the PCs of that era.
50 posted on 11/09/2001 8:13:48 PM PST by Tribune7
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