Friday, May 23, 2008

Game Theory and Mac Malware

Cloudmark's Adam J. O'Donnell wrote a fascinating article which uses game theory to predict the tipping point for mass malware attacks on Mac OS X.

It's very hard to construct a game that can accurately represent an uncontrolled environment like the one that malware and botnets currently exist in - and to his credit, Adam fully acknowledges this. But Adam's article is great for two reasons.

First, I think that his estimate of Mac's needing to break 17% market share before they become worthwhile to malware authors isn't too far off. And second, the game he's constructed is a great model for risk-based analysis of a partially unknown threat environment (which is a fancy way of saying how likely you are to be pwned in the future).

I so often find myself ranting about infosec articles and papers that fail at basic math, let alone reasonable science, that it's nice to see something of this quality hit the trade press. Thanks, Adam.

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