Capdiamont\’s Weblog


Newsfactor: Army Adds Macs To Improve Security
Wednesday 26 Dec 2007, 11:59
Filed under: Electronics and Computers | Tags: ,

It’s about time. I remember being in South Korea, and our email, for most of the peninsula was shut down for twenty-four hours. This is US Army email systems. My thanks to Microsoft for that.

Other items, I found a nice manual put out by Linux Format on Open Office with a DVD at Borders! The DVD has the software, video tutorials, “huge” clip art collection, extra fonts, and templates. I use Open Office about daily, though in a most basic way. I do my time card, and bank account info in calc, and basic word in Writer. I hardly take advantage of it’s power. It will be mice to learn some more.

I use a formula, so I only have to put total hours worked, and it figures out how many are regular, and how many are overtime. I haven’t figured out how to make it figure out the hours itself from the hours put in from the jobs I do.

The bank account stuff took more time than necessary. I have the front sheet for a summary for all the pay periods, and a sheet per pay period. The summary sheet is updated automaticlly. It seems as though there should be a easier way to the bank account.

Last Item, is I finally got my hands on a old blue berry iMac, 6GB HD, 256Megs ram, 333Mhtz processor, os 9.2.2, ethernet, and usb 1.1. I’ve already tore it apart, cleaned it, and put back together. I’ve got it to serve a website to the network, very easy. My main idea for spending $50 on this thing, which came with a bit worn out keyboard, and puck mouse, is to be a file server. I’ve turned on file sharing. Yet neither the other macs or the windows xp, or vista can see it. I’ve also heard you can only put up to a 128gb hard drive in it. The max os I can run on it is Panther 10.3.9. Should I upgrade to panther? Could usb 1.1 slow speed be livable if running hard drives off them?

Richard Koman, newsfactor.com Mon Dec 24, 1:08 PM ET

One of Apple’s major marketing themes is that Macs are less susceptible to viruses, Trojans, and other hacker attacks than Windows PCs. While that argument has yet to hold much sway with enterprise I.T. departments, it is causing the U.S. Army to add some Macs to its networks.

Lt. Col. C.J. Wallington, a division chief in the Army’s office of enterprise information systems, told Forbes that the Army is adding Macs to make its networks harder to hack. Wallington said that making networks more heterogeneous might make it more difficult for attackers to compromise an entire group of computers.

These things don’t just happen overnight. The Army’s CIO, Gen. Steve Boutelle, called for more diverse computer networks back in August 2005. He said the Army should deal with a broader range of vendors to increase competition and harden I.T. defenses. But thus far, the Army has allowed only a trickle of Macs to enter military facilities. The Army buys only about 1,000 Macs during its twice-a-year buying seasons.

Macs ‘Shrug Off’ Attacks

One key barrier — besides Apple’s price premium and the general I.T. resistance to Apple — has been incompatibility with Common Access Cards, a security key card program the military uses heavily. Early in 2008, the Army will adopt software that will allow Macs to use CACs.

The Army is impressed with Apple Xserve servers’ ability to withstand attacks, Wallington said. “Those are some of the most-attacked computers there are. But the attacks used against them are designed for Windows-based machines, so they shrug them off,” he said.

The Army’s Apple program is being led by Jonathan Broskey, a former Apple employee. He says it’s not just that Macs are a less inviting target than Windows; Apple’s version of Unix is inherently more secure than Windows, he says.

But some observers point out that as Macs have become more popular, Apple has had to release increasingly substantial security updates. Apple’s QuickTime was recently shown to suffer from fairly serious security holes. And security company F-Secure has identified over 100 Mac-specific exploits over the last two months.

Macs ‘Behind the Curve’

Broskey, however, maintains that the large number of patches shows the strength of Apple’s reliance on open-source software for its operating system, but that military I.T. will have to be aggressive about deploying the updates. “The Army’s no different from any corporation,” he was quoted by Forbes as saying.

At least one security expert isn’t all that impressed with the Mac as a battle-hardened OS. Charlie Miller of Independent Security Evaluators said Apple had to patch security flaws five times as much as Microsoft. “I love my Macs, but in terms of security, they’re behind the curve, compared to Windows,” Miller told Forbes.

Miller added that the Army needs a better security strategy than just adding Macs to the mix. He said attackers will just target whichever platform is weaker, which might just be the Macs that are supposedly more secure. “In the story of the three little pigs, did diversifying their defenses help? Not for the pig in the straw house.”

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5 Comments

I forget the order of the panthers, tigers, etc., but if I remember correctly, the panther started with OSX operating system – and the imac really was for system 9. OS 9. I’ll have to look at my old one, but I’m pretty sure it ran on 9, not enough memory etc for OSX. The G-4 was upgradable enough that it has been able to take all the system upgrades, but it is about at its end. Little workhorses, both of them.

Comment by Rose

This might help:

New Life for a Bondi iMac

Its an old article but good info.

Comment by Mike Buettner

A few more links:

Home server project

EveryMac.com

Comment by Mike Buettner

interesting! Something Buettner and I agree on – Macs. Good info, Mike.

Comment by Rose




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