Yet another strain of malware targeted at Mac users has popped up this week to prove you shouldn’t disable the Gatekeeper feature baked into OS X. “OSX/Keydnap” disguises itself as an innocent text or image file, then installs malicious code onto your Mac.
Apple’s Gatekeeper feature was designed to keep even the most advanced users from accidentally installing malicious software on their computers, but a super-simple exploit lets hackers sneak malware onto your Mac.
The exploit was discovered by Patrick Wardle, director of research at security firm Synack. Wardle found that the exploit is made possible thanks to a key design shortcoming in Gatekeeper that lets an attacker use a binary file already trusted by Apple to execute malicious files.
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.
One way your Mac makes sure you’re (relatively safe) from rogue apps is what’s called Gatekeeper. By default, this bit of software only allows you to install verified apps from the Mac App Store on your Mac. What if, however, you want to download software from a Mac developer who doesn’t distribute their software on the Mac App Store? You’ll need to bypass Gatekeeper in order to do so.
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.
Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features. Some of them are dramatic and hard to miss while others are minor conveniences that don’t stand out immediately. Many of those big and small new features and improvements have a lot of appeal for business users.
Here’s a list of the many new features in Mountain Lion that can help professionals in almost any industry work smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively.
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.
One of the main reasons many of us turned to Apple’s machines and its OS X operating system is the belief that the company’s software is more secure than Windows, its biggest rival. However, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky, one of the industry’s leading security specialists, believes that Apple is “10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security,” and that Apple need to invest more into security audits for its software.
Apple uses digital certificates and code signing in various ways to help keep Macs secure. One common example is that apps sold through the Mac App Store are digitally signed, which allows an individual Mac to know that it’s getting the genuine article when a user launches the App Store app. It also allows a Mac to ensure that an application hasn’t been tampered with by a malicious user or a piece of malware each time that app is launched (Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper feature will be based on the same technology).
The same process is used with Apple’s Software Update servers. Each update from Apple is digitally signed using a certificate that let’s each Mac know that they’re getting genuine updates from Apple.
Digital certificates are designed to expire periodically and tomorrow, March 23, 2012, the certificate associated with Apple’s Software Update functionality will be expiring. Apple already has a new certificate ready that won’t expire for seven more years (2019). The transition to the certificate will be transparent for almost all Mac users, but it may create problems with some OS X Server installations.