A new Mac malware has been found in the wild that allowed attackers to steal data and install unauthorized apps on a compromised machine. What makes this malware different than other recent Mac malware, though, is that it breezes right past Gatekeeper… and the people behind it might have been gunning for the life of their malware victim.
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Redsn0w Is Fully Compatible With OS X Mountain Lion, But You’ll Have To Bypass Gatekeeper [Jailbreak]
The iPhone Dev-Team have confirmed that the latest version of Redsn0w is fully compatible with Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion software. However, until it has been signed with a Developer ID, you’ll have to bypass Gatekeeper to use it.
In putting together the various features of Mountain Lion, Apple may end up encouraging business and enterprise customers to actually make their Macs less secure instead of ratcheting up security as some key Mountain Lion capabilities are intended to do.
There are a handful of technologies involved, but they center around iCloud and Apple’s requirement that apps sold in the Mac App Store support Apple’s application sandboxing technique.
Although Apple just announced OS X Mountain Lion last Thursday, Mac apps are already getting updated for compatibility with the next-gen OS. Mountain Lion is only available as a developer preview, but that hasn’t kept Smile from updating its popular PDF editor for the Mac, PDFpen, with Gatekeeper compatibility.
Smile makes great productivity apps for the Mac, like TextExpander. With this latest update to PDFpen, a Gatekeeper-friendly Developer ID has been added to help future Mountain Lion users install the app in a secure environment.
Mountain Lion’s GateKeeper feature is designed to improve Mac security by harnessing the power of the Mac App Store and through a new developer program in which Apple will offer Developer IDs to members of its Mac Developer Program. Those IDs will let developers digitally sign their applications so that Mountain Lion Macs can verify an app’s authenticity and security before running it.
While this may seem like a new approach and an extension of the Mac App Store model, it’s actually based on technology that has been part of OS X since the release of Leopard.
GateKeeper is one of the big new features in Mountain Lion. It’s designed to protect against malware by limiting what kinds of software gets installed on your Mac. GateKeeper offers Mac users three levels of security: Mac App Store purchases (which have been fully vetted by Apple), Developer ID apps purchased outside the Mac App Store that are digitally signed so your Mac can verify their authenticity via Apple, and apps from all other sources.
The GateKeeper model looks great from the perspective of an individual user or family – easy to understand and use while being fairly effective at leveraging Apple’s developer program as a security solution. How it will stack up in business and enterprise environments, where mass deployment are commonplace, may be a different story.
One of the big headline features in Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS is Gatekeeper, designed to keep malware and other nasties away from your computer. So is this another step towards App Store-only software on Macs?
The short answer is yes, it is. But it doesn’t have to be. Gatekeeper gives you the choice: do you want to stick to App Store-only apps, or be able to install anything from anywhere?
An International Herald Tribune op-ed piece weighs in on France’s legislative attempts to protect music consumers from Apple’s iPod/iTMS tie in:
“If Apple succeeds in hooking millions of consumers to the iPod and retains them, then it can be the gatekeeper of global culture.
That’s what irks the French. Apple could take the wind out of the French sails and permit others to encode music with their digital rights management. That may become inevitable, but Apple would like to delay it.”
Apple’s surprise announcement of CarPlay turned a lot of heads. Bizarrely running on Blackberry’s QNX platform, of all things, CarPlay will launch through partnerships with Volvo, Mercedes, and Ferrari. But how hard will it be for other developers to add CarPlay support to their apps?
The good news is the answer is: ‘not very.’ But the bad news is, Apple’s the gatekeeper to when that happens, and they won’t open up access until they are convinced CarPlay is safe.
When you’re running a Macbook Air or Pro with an SSD in it, you’re probably concerned about space on your drive. You can easily sort files in the Finder by size to see what you might want to delete or at least put on an external drive, but sometimes it’s nicer to visualize your data in a different way.
That’s where apps like GrandPerspective come in. This one is simple to use, works well, and is entirely free. It helps you see your data as an image, and then you can decide what to do with your files from there.