Apple's operating systems (OS) were among those least prone to attack and damage from malicious hackers, worms and viruses in 2002, while Microsoft'sWindows and the Linux operating systems were the most vulnerable, according to a report by technology risk-management company mi2g.

The report, which will be released today, presents data on the discovery of software vulnerabilities and incidents of digital attack for 2002.

Data from the report is taken from mi2g's SIPS (Security Intelligence Products & Systems) database, which stores information on more than 6,000 hacker groups reaching back to 1995.

Tiny According to the company, 1,162 software vulnerabilities were discovered during the first 10 months of 2002, including vulnerabilities in operating systems, server software, and third-party applications. Of that number, fewer than 25 were attributable to the Macintosh operating system (OS).

Two different versions of Unix shared top honours with Mac OS, with fewer than 25 vulnerabilities: Compaq's Tru64 and The SCO Group's SCO Unix.

In contrast, Microsoft's Windows operating system accounted for the lion's share of new vulnerabilities, with more than 500 vulnerabilities discovered affecting Windows operating systems. More than 200 vulnerabilities were discovered that affected the Linux operating system, according to the information released by mi2g, based in London.