Hi! My name is Cédric Bozzi, I make websites and iOS apps, and this is my blog about technology (mostly a Twitter archive, really).

28 August 2009

“Snow Leopard could level security playing field”

It’s unclear whether rumors are true that Snow Leopard includes several internal features designed to prevent attacks that Vista and Windows 7 have, known as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) on that platform.

By randomizing the location of key pieces of data, ASLR makes it much more difficult for attackers to predict where data is going to be in order to execute their code or the code resident in the process. For exploit code that gets past the ASLR barrier, DEP will try to block it from running, recognizing that it is data and not a legitimate code.

I’m confused as to why anyone would focus on that kind of stuff when the real threat nowadays is trojans, and trojans are essentially just regular applications that rely on the user double-clicking them.

I mean, I’m sure it would be better for OS X to have ASLR and DEP and what have you, but it’s ultimately a moot point, not just because the Mac isn’t much of a target, but because viruses aren’t the bigger threat these days. Are they? (I’m not sure, I don’t follow security too closely.)

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