Operating systems are inherently insecure and will remain that way in the future, according to Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Russian-based security vendor Kaspersky Lab.
At a media conference during his visit to Sydney this week, Kaspersky said the nature of an operating system and its inherit need to run unsigned applications will force it to remain insecure.
“The truth is most operating systems - Windows, Linux, Mac - are insecure by design. Many people say that Mac systems are secure because there are no viruses for Mac.
“That’s not true. There are viruses for Mac. If in the future cybercriminals pay more attention to Mac operating systems, Mac users will be very busy,” said Kaspersky.
A secure operating system is one that locks down and rejects unsigned applications; this according to Kaspersky is the reason why it’s impossible for operating systems to be foolproof.
“If you can run unsigned applications that means you can download malicious unsigned applications. Trusted application means everything needs to be signed.
"Signed means the companies that develop applications have to wait in line. It takes a very long time to get a certificate for every application developed.”
According to Kaspersky, a secure operating system has a limited set of applications and services that it allows. However, because of that, secure operating systems can lose their market and audience.
He posed the question, “If there are 200 people in a room how many are going to buy secure operating systems with limited set of applications? The answer being one to three percent of the room.
“If I wrote an operating system I would develop insecure flexible operating systems. [Because] unfortunately secure operating systems lose marketshare.
"Such as Symbian nine and Symbian 10, it’s losing the market."
"Instead application control and bringing protection on the very deep level of operating systems is required.
"In the future I don’t think we will see any secure operating systems," he said.
Operating systems can't be secure, says Kaspersky
By Negar Salek on Oct 17, 2008 3:57PM