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Mac attack was unfair, says UW engineer

Madison, Wis. — Can a Mac really be hacked in just 30 minutes? Not according to a 38-hour test by a University of Wisconsin-Madison systems engineer, who criticized recent media reports for sensationalism after they reported on a public Mac security test in which the owner of a computer gave out login accounts to potential hackers.

In that case, it took just 30 minutes for someone who had been given access to the computer to take full control of it. But Dave Schroeder, senior Apple system engineer for the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology, said that of over half a million web site hits and 4,000 login attempts during his public test yesterday, not a one was able to scratch his Mac's security.

He published the results of the test on the web, writing, "Mac OS X is not invulnerable. It, like any other operating system, has security deficiencies in various aspects of the software. However, the general architecture and design philosophy of Mac OS X, in addition to usage of open source components for most network-accessible services that receive intense peer scrutiny from the community, make Mac OS X a very secure operating system."

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