Apple wants to review the gatekeeper process in macOS


Is there no time now?

A server error last week caused problems in macOS. Privacy concerns were also raised. Now Apple is responding and promising improvements.

After the release of the latest version of macOS on November 12, 2020, many Mac users have had problems opening many applications. The fault was a server error at Apple. The group has now reacted to this and has announced that it will introduce some changes in the next year so that the problem does not occur again in the future.

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The main problem was that macOS checked the respective developer signature on the internet when apps started. However, because the server responsible for this failed, an error occurred. Apple now promises to integrate stronger protection against server failures. The group is also addressing data protection concerns that arose following the incident.

No more IP address storage – Apple is responding to privacy concerns

According to Apple, the data was never recorded as part of the certificate check, from which conclusions can be drawn as to which program individual users just ran. Apple ID was also not required. However, the IP address has been transmitted and saved so far. However, you also want to change this.

The Mac manufacturer claims that it has already stopped collecting IP addresses as part of the certificate check. It will also make sure that any IP addresses already registered are deleted from the log files. Furthermore, they want to ensure in the future that the certificate check is only encrypted.

Apple: Certificate verification can be turned off in the future

Like the macOS security expert Patrick Wardle it shows, it is no longer possible in macOS Big Sur to block the Internet traffic of some Apple applications with a firewall. Therefore, with the latest version of the Apple operating system, it was no longer possible to prevent the wrong certificate check caused by the server failure, provided that an internet connection was active. Apple now promises that at least certificate verification can be turned off in the future. MacOS is expected to receive the corresponding functionality over the next year.

It is unclear whether Apple will continue to bypass firewall apps under Big Sur. This represents from Wardle’s point of view a security issue because malicious programs could abuse this mechanism to freely communicate with a server.

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