Apple’s chief software officer says current level of Mac malware is not acceptable

Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi said in court Wednesday that Apple is unhappy with the amount of harmful software or malware in its Mac operating system, MacOS.

Federighi said that allowing users to install software from the Internet is “regularly exploited” on Mac computers, and that the iPhone’s operating system, iOS, has a “dramatically higher bar” for client protection.

“Today, we have a level of malware on Mac that we do not find acceptable, and that is much worse than iOS,” Federighi testified in the Epic Games v. Manzana.

The difference between iPhone and Mac security is important in the test because Epic Games seeks to force Apple to allow it to install alternative app stores on iPhones, which are allowed on Mac computers.

Epic Games maintains that Apple can easily apply Mac software installation policies and security mechanisms to iPhones, while Apple says its App Store review process and rules keep users safe.

On Wednesday, Federighi said that the Mac user base is about one-tenth of the iPhone user base. Apple said in January that it had 1 billion active iPhone users.

“For iOS, we aspire to create something much more secure. Everything indicates that we have achieved it ”, said Federighi. He said Apple was able to use an internal tool to block around 130 different types of malware on Macs last year, infecting hundreds of thousands of user systems, compared to three for iPhones.

“I have a couple of family members who have gotten malware on the Mac, but ultimately I think the Mac can be operated safely,” Federighi said.

Federighi’s admission was prompted by a question from Judge Yvonne González Rogers, who will decide what action to take in the coming weeks or months. The trial is scheduled to end next Monday after three weeks.

Apple customers have long wondered if the company was considering merging its Mac desktops and iPad tablets, which run an iOS version. Apple’s latest Mac computer uses the same processor as its high-end iPads.

Subsequently, Federighi provided a metaphor suggesting that Apple still views them as separate products. For example, software developers still use Macs because they can install development tools, such as Xcode, and access the guts of the computer, including the installation of unauthorized software.

“I think of it as the Mac is the car, you can take it off the road if you want, you can drive where you want. As that comes as a driver, you have to be trained, there is a certain level of responsibility for But that’s what you wanted to buy, you wanted to buy a car, “said Federighi. “With iOS, you can create something where children, even babies, can operate an iOS device and be safe in doing so. Really different products ”.

A recent Nokia report cited by Federighi said that iOS devices accounted for 1.72% of mobile malware infections, compared to 26.64% for Android and 38.92% for Windows.

“Android still has a significant malware problem,” Federighi said. “Something like 50 times the iOS malware.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to testify at the trial on Friday.

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