Mac OS X has inherited ten-year old security flaws from its core Unix base, a security researcher has warned.

Suresec senior security researcher Neil Archibald, who has identified security bugs in OS X in the past, told ZDNet Australia that these flaws are likely to be exploited by malware authors in future, "as Apple's marketshare grows".

"The only thing which has kept Mac OS X relatively safe up until now is the fact that the market share is significantly lower than that of Windows or the more common Unix platforms," he said.

He observed that if Mac marketshare climbs, security problems could plague Macs.

Most Mac users will dismiss the claims, though Archibald points to a number of bugs he has himself identified in the past as proof that Apple isn't stringent enough in testing software before it ships.

Among others, these include the "dsidentity" bug, which could have enabled Admin access for unauthorised users.

The researcher also claims Apple is slow to respond to identified threats.

Apple refused to comment, except to say it continues to work to ensure its OS is stable and safe.