Apple promises it isn’t spying on Mac users to find out which applications they are using. The company was forced to make this clear after a server glitch caused users to realize that Gatekeeper in macOS sends a message to Apple whenever they open an application.
macOS 10.15 Catalina is ruthless about launching unknown apps. Unless your app comes direct from the App Store, or the app’s developer got the app notarized by Apple, it won’t launch. Double click on it, and you’ll see a warning — and nothing else. There’s no option to say you trust the app and launch it despite Catalina’s warnings.
But you can still launch those apps. It’s just that Apple hides the controls in the hope that you’ll give up. It’s petty, and it shows a lack of respect for you, the user. However, it’s also dead easy to fix this problem. Let’s see how to launch any app on macOS Catalina.
Apple has confirmed that all macOS apps will need to be notarized to be accepted by Gatekeeper after its Mojave 10.14.5 update.
The requirement applies to new and updated apps and all software from developers who are new to distributing with Developer ID. In a future version of macOS, notarization will be required by default.
There’s a new method to let Mac users know that the software they’re installing isn’t loaded with malware. It’s called notarized apps, and Apple urges developers to use it.
Right now, getting apps notarized is optional. Eventually, it’ll be a requirement. That’s a bonus for Mac users.
Security researchers have discovered a nasty bit of Mac malware similar to OSX.Dok trojan, which can bypass Apple’s GateKeeper feature.
The new bug, dubbed OSX.Bella, behaves and distributes itself in a completely different manner than OSX.Dok. But once installed, it executes a script that’s just as damaging.
OSX/Dok, a new strain of “major scale” malware targeting macOS users, can bypass the Gatekeeper feature that’s designed to block malicious software.
The newly identified trojan, which prevents you from doing anything on your Mac until you install a bogus software update, also goes undetected by many antivirus programs.
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.
We all know Apple’s are much safer than Windows PCs at keeping out the malware, right?
Researcher Patrick Wardle has been trying to make sure of that for months now as he pokes holes in Apple’s current protection scheme, Gatekeeper.
In fact, he’s gotten past Apple’s latest patch to its software security system in literally five minutes.
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.
Here’s how it works:
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.
Another advantage of the Mac App Store, besides pausing downloads, safe uninstalls, and easy re-downloads of Mac OS X apps, is the safety of knowing that anything in the Mac App Store has been vetted by Apple.
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.
Here’s how to do that safely.
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.
One of the new features of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has been the addition of Gatekeeper. By only allowing apps to be installed from the Mac App Store, Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper feature gives users a new level of security from malicious software.
Some users feel Gatekeeper is a sign that Apple is moving toward a completely closed desktop operating system that will only allow apps from the Mac App Store to be installed. Easing concerns of this draconian controversy, this afternoon Apple announced the Developer ID program that will help third-party developers distribute their apps safely outside of the Mac App Store.
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.
Apple hasn’t made the Mac App Store the only source for Mac software, but the company is nudging both developers and users in the store’s direction. That’s fine for consumers, but it may create problems for businesses that need to buy software in bulk and distribute it to a large number of Macs.
Apple has informed Mac developers that the deadline for sandboxing apps has been extended to June 1st. The date was postponed last November and set to take place on March 1st. Apple has been working on technical specifications for third-party developers since.
For those that are unfamiliar, “sandboxing” is essentially confining an app’s system access to its specific functions or entitlements, thereby hindering the possibility of an app behaving maliciously on a system level. Developers now have more time to appropriately implement sandboxing into their apps for the Mac App Store.
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?