Google Reportedly Phasing Out Windows In Favor Of OS X/Linux

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News Posted: Tue, Jun 1 2010 8:11 PM
Things just continue to get more and more interesting in the Google/Apple drama scenarios. Needless to say, both Google and Apple have been at each other's throats a little bit lately, but in the end, Google, Apple and Microsoft are all competing against one another, so it's not surprising to see a bit of bumping and nudging going on. But this? This is a new kind of blow, one that hurts the wallet and one that changes perceptions.

As with most major corporations, Google's employees used Windows-based machines almost exclusively. It's sort of a given when major companies select Windows machines for their staff, so no one really paid it any mind. But now, Google is reportedly "phasing out internal use of rival Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system because of security concerns following a Chinese hacking incident." You're all well aware of the Chinese hacking incident from earlier in the year, which led to Google taking a stand and refusing to filter search results in mainland China. Now, Google is looking to Apple and Linux-based machines to replace their workstations.


The report states that employees are now given the choice to select an OS X or Linux-based machine, with Windows machines requiring higher level approval. Google has yet to comment on the allegations, but quite a few inside sources are saying that this is all legitimate. If this were a much smaller company, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But to hear that Google, the world's search giant, doesn't trust Microsoft's systems in their own company? That's pretty major. Of course, no system is perfectly shielded from attacks, but it's a proven fact that Windows-based machines are targeted more often because there are so many more out there compared to Macs and Linux machines.

Will Google's stance have a domino effect throughout corporate America? It's too early to tell, but it'll be interesting to see if/how Microsoft responds.

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News:
But now, Google is reportedly "phasing out internal use of rival Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system because of security concerns following a Chinese hacking incident."

Now the Chinese will have a huge incentive to hack OS X! 

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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Well I was just little bit aware about google in china. But the information with me was not complete before this comment. I really thank you for your posting. Ofcourse now the china will make target as OS X and Linux. But as per my knowledge this operating system are really difficult to hack but not impossible.

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Well, it's still hard to hack because no one really wants to take the time to hack an Apple OS. It's been done, and viruses have been made etc...But since such a small population works on an Apple OS people don't really see a point to it.

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Apple OS'es are actually a lot easier to hack than Windows. Apple tends to have more nasty bugs and exploits, that go much much longer (months+ instead of days) without being patched. The only reason that Apple machines are not totally awash in viruses and hacks is because of how small a market share they hold.

Look at Black Hat Con. Look at DEF Con. Look at Pwn2own, Apple machines always falls first often in a matter of a couple minutes. Actually, at the 2009 Pwn2own, only Chrome wasn't breached on 'Day 0' with OSX/Safari biting it in about 2 minutes.

In Pwn2own 2010, Apple tried to get sneaky. About a week before the contest they dropped a ton of patches. Didn't help, they were the first to fall with OSX/Safari biting it in the opening minutes again. Actually, the only phone to get breeched was Apples iPhone. (Other phone OSes were Android, Blackberry, and Symbian)

So in closing, switching to Apple machines for 'Security' is a pretty stupid idea. All the major cons, good guys and bad, say Win7 is far more secure than OSX. Now the people using a 'NIX are different, since they tend to be more secure if configured right.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jun 2 2010 2:45 PM

>> Apple tends to have more nasty bugs and exploits, that go much much longer (months+ instead of days) without being patched.

Citation please.  Apple has fixed everything I can recall in a window ranging from 4 days up to a month.  Microsoft waits until an exploit hits the wild 8 months down the road.  Just search some of the back-articles here for examples.

Pwn2Own doesn't prove what you think it proves (or anything, really) - it's a test of web browser security that contestants win by the luck of who goes first (everyone shows up with an exploit - even one for each system, and draw from a hat to go first). Which system falls first has no relation to the amount of time that went into making the exploit.

OSX will continue to go down first, as long as contestants can only win one prize, and the Apple system is so much better than the hardware running Windows. Odd how a bunch of security experts always want to win the OSX system, and are later quoted as saying anti-virus is unnecessary on the platform, eh?

Just compare the attack vectors: There are 43 known security vulnerabilities in IE8 *right now*, 2 in Safari, and 0 in Firefox. Which OS does this add vulnerability to?  Is it the one that runs IE by default (and can also run Safari!) or, the one that only runs Safari? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_browsers#Vulnerabilities)

As for "more nasty": The vast majority of Windows exploits have always resulted in the *much* nastier kernel-level access. Whereas OSX/Safari gets you stuck in user-land.

Anyone who tells you Windows is any more secure is probably trying to sell you something, or make themselves feel better about their own lack of knowledge about anything else.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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I don't think the hacks had as big a play in this as to seems. From what I have read Google was never big on Windows PCs to begin with.

 

Edit: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100602/tc_pcworld/windowsmacorlinuxitsnottheositstheuser

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jun 2 2010 7:39 PM

You're probably correct, Bob. After all, Google's working on ChromeOS and has an office suite that is web-based. They probably intended to have their people start eating their own dogfood as soon as it was good enough anyway - Windows hacks or not.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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AKwyn replied on Thu, Jun 3 2010 9:18 AM

I agree with 3vi1. Once a corporation gets too big, they start to become more evil and force their own companies to use their own software. I think the move from Linux might cause more businesses to pick up Linux as their primary OS but mainly I think it's just a platform to test ChromeOS on.

I don't know why they offer Mac OS X in an office environment. Well except for the server version of Mac OS X, there is barely any use for Mac OS X in an office environment as far as I know. I thought of Mac OS X as kind of the artistic OS, the OS that Movie Studios, Animation Studios and Art Studios would probably use. Mainly I think that Mac OS X will be phased out and replaced with ChromeOS when it eventually gets released.

I don't know what my opinion to ChromeOS will be but it is interesting to see an actual WebOS out there being released by such a major company.

 

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Speaking of Blackhat/Defcon/HOPE/etc. @DEFCON18 next month:

"We have developed a kernel-level Android rootkit in the form of a loadable kernel module. As a proof of concept, it is able to send an attacker a reverse TCP over 3G/WIFI shell upon receiving an incoming call from a 'trigger number'. This ultimately results in full root access on the Android device. This will be demonstrated (live)."

 

 

 

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