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Something I know I can always count on from Security Fix readers is that when I flub something, I'll hear about it from them. So let me apologize to those faithful readers who took umbrage at my advice for Mac users on tools they can download to help them securely erase data from their hard drives.

First of all, I'll be the first to admit I'm no Mac expert -- keeping up with Windows security issues is a full-time job in itself. Growing up, the first two computers our family had were Apples, but I admit I haven't worked on a Mac in a long time. That's not an excuse, just a fact.

In response to reader feedback, I have promised to post links -- where applicable -- to Mac and Linux software tools and patches, and I will continue to do that. But obviously, I want to do it right, so please keep the feedback coming, and by all means please let me know if you've got a beef with any of my advice or commentary.

As one reader pointed out, the tool I mentioned in that post doesn't work on Mac OS X Tiger, Apple's latest operating system upgrade. What's more, Tiger also includes "Secure Erase" utility that not only deletes files but writes meaningless data over the deleted file, much like the Secure Empty Trash option on Mac OS X Panther. There is also a secure file zapping tool called Permanent Eraser available from Apple's site.

If you need instructions on how to securely erase an entire Mac hard drive, the people over at O'Reilly have a nice set of instructions.

For the record, I use mainly Windows machines and Linux (specifically, various "live cd" distributions, such as Knoppix and Auditor) for my daily activities. Still, I'm considering getting a Mac so that I can familiarize myself more fully with today's offerings from Apple.

Alternatively, I may try another approach. Mac OS X runs on a different set of computer guts than those that power Microsoft Windows PCs, so it's not possible to install the operating system on a PC designed for Windows use. That is, unless you use something like PearPC, an open source (read: free) program that you can use to run OS X on a machine built for Windows.

By Brian Krebs  |  June 8, 2005; 7:58 PM ET
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Next: Apple's Bushel of Critical Fixes


Have a MAC going on three yeras. Never had a problem with viruses, worms or other creatures. And have never had a freeze up with OS X. Hope this continues with the Intel chips

Posted by: Anonymous | June 9, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to offer an equal and opposite to your--Apple's Bushel of Critical Fixes...
I went to the upper left hand corner of my screen, selected Software Update, my system was checked and Apple showed the PHP and another, BlueTooth I believe. I checked them both.
They were installed in about 20 seconds and I didn't have to restart...Took about a minute total.

Now I don't know how big bushels are where you live, but my 7 year old Mac gobbled that Windows veiwpoint bushel "purdy" fast.

Posted by: Doug Profitt | June 10, 2005 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Brian - see my Mac OS X tips and experiences at
Dont mess with PearPC. Try borrowing a Mac for a few days!

Posted by: Michael Paine | June 10, 2005 7:39 PM | Report abuse

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