As Mac OS X continues to be adopted by more and more users, it is important to consider the security (or insecurity) of the devices running it. From a security perspective, Apple has led a relatively charmed existence so far. Mac OS X computers have not had any significant virus or worm outbreaks, making them a relatively safe computing platform. Because of this, they are perceived by most individuals to be significantly more secure than competing desktop operating systems, such as Windows XP or Vista.

Overview of the Book and Technology

Is this perception of security justified, or has Mac OS X simply benefited from its low profile up to this point? This book offers you a chance to answer this question for yourself. It provides the tools and techniques necessary to analyze thoroughly the security of computers running the Mac OS X operating system. It details exactly what Apple has done right in the design and implementation of its code, as well as points out deficiencies and weaknesses. It teaches how attackers look at Mac OS X technologies, probe for weaknesses, and succeed in compromising the system. This book is not intended as a blueprint for malicious attackers, but rather as an instrument so the good guys can learn what the bad guys already know. Penetration testers and other security analysts can and should use this information to identify risks and secure the Macs in their environments.

Keeping security flaws secret does not help anybody. It is important ...

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