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Gartner Analyst Downplays Apple Boot Camp Security Issue

Don't worry about Boot Camp exposing Apple Computer Inc.'s operating system to malware, viruses and worms, says a Gartner Inc. analyst who insists Apple's move to Intel processors will not expose the system to security vulnerabilities, at least not today.

A partition separates the Windows software within a different file system, and this prevents the Mac software from being exposed to malware, said Gartner research vice president Michael Silver.

"I would have to write an attack on the Windows subsystem to affect the machine, and even so, it would target relatively few users," Silver said.

Microsoft's market-dominating Windows operating system is more susceptible to viruses and worms, Silver acknowledged, but having both operating systems on one computer won't make the Mac OS less secure.

In most cases, Windows won't have the ability to read the Mac OS partition, he said. Even if Windows could read the Mac partition, someone would have to write something that "makes Windows do something nefarious" to the Mac OS.

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