Mac OS X & iOS have most security bugs, claim researchers

A study by GFI has revealed Apple's platforms have more vulnerabilities than Windows or Linux

Security firm GFI has revealed that Apple's mobile and desktop platforms have more vulnerabilities than either Linux or Windows, making it the buggiest around.

Researcher Cristian Florian revealed that OS X had the most issues, logging 147 vulnerabilities, while iOS came in at a close second with 127. Linux was next highest with 119 and Windows, although fragmented into iterations, had the fewest with an average of 36 on the seven versions studied.

The report also plotted the level of risk from each of these vulnerabilities and explained the severity of bugs in OS X was higher than any other with 64 threats described as high risk, while iOS had half this amount and Linux clocked in with just 34 high-security vulnerabilities.

Florian wrote in a blog post: "2014 was a tough year for Linux users from a security point of view, coupled with the fact that some of the most important security issues of the year were reported for applications that usually run on Linux systems. Heartbleed, for example, is a critical security vulnerability detected in OpenSSL while Shellshock is a vulnerability that affects GNU Bash."

Advertisement - Article continues below

More than 80 per cent of the bugs originated from third-party applications, with only 13 per cent were down to the operating system itself.

An average of 19 vulnerabilities were reported a day throughout 2014, which is an increase of almost 70 per cent year-on year. However, the number of high-risk threats has reduced in comparison to 2013.

Florian said in his blog post: "At the end of the day, however, an IT admin's attention should be on ALL products in his network and not limited to those at the top of the vulnerability list; neither should the assumption be made that those further down the list are safer. Every software product can be exploited at some point. Patching is the answer and that is the key message."

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now


Business strategy

Apple launches new TV, gaming and finance services

25 Mar 2019
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 security patches officially coming to an end

21 Mar 2019

Jony Ive: A retrospective

29 Nov 2019

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

identity and access management (IAM)

44 million Microsoft customers found using compromised passwords

6 Dec 2019
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019

Where modernisation and sustainability meet: A tale of two benefits

25 Nov 2019