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Army working in more Macs to diversify systems, thwart attackers

Nilay Patel

The Army's been poking around with OS X for a while -- Xserves have run for a couple years now -- but it looks like it's about to deploy even more Apple machines in an effort to diversify its install base and frustrate would-be attackers. The move is partially due to the upcoming release of software that will allow OS X machines to work with the Army's Common Access Card smart card system, but the Army's experience with the Xserves seems like it's really the deciding factor: "[The Army's Xserves] are some of the most attacked computers there are," according to Lt. Col. C.J. Wallington, of the Army's office of enterprise information systems. "But the attacks used against them are designed for Windows-based machines, so they shrug them off." Outside security consultants say that diversity isn't enough, though -- while OS X may be difficult to break, hackers will simply learn to target the Army's Windows machines. "In the story of the three little pigs, did diversifying their defenses help? Not for the pig in the straw house," according to one analyst interviewed by Forbes. That's a good point -- but we're also a little concerned that all that white, aluminum and glass might clash with the Army's color scheme.

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