In the face of criticism for its handling of the latest security vulnerability within the Mac OS, Apple has been spending time convincing the press that it does consider security important, and that it will communicate security issues better in the future.

Apple's director of Mac OS X product marketing Ken Bereskin admitted: "Descriptions of patches downloaded automatically in OS X's Software Update mechanism tended to be simplistic," according to Wired.

Apple maintains that the information was available to its customers, but admits that it wasn't communicating its existence. Bereskin explained: "Detailed information is available at our company security Web site, but even some security companies aren't aware of it."

"Starting with the latest security update, Apple now includes a link to its security Web site," he said.

To demonstrate that the Mac OS is considerably safer than the alternatives, Bereskin emphasized that Apple has issued just 44 security updates since Mac OS X was introduced in March 2001, 3 per cent of which were classified critical. Microsoft issued 78 security updates in the same period, with 65 per cent classified as critical.

"Certainly no single operating system can be completely secure from all threats, but most people we talk to, most of the security experts we work with closely, agree that because Mac OS X has a Unix BSD core, it lands up being more secure than other platforms, certainly more than Microsoft," he explained.

Not everybody feels that Apple deserves all the criticism. Gartner research director Ray Wagner told Wired he thought the fuss was overblown.

"I think Apple's customer communication around vulnerability patching and their automatic update service is quite reasonable, useful, and convenient for the end user. Most of the concerns have been around communication with developers and security practitioners, rather than end users," he said.