Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

The new anti-malware feature works behind the scenes to let Mac users either allow or deny application downloads based on where they come from.

Apple has built a 'Gatekeeper' to help protect Mac OS X users from downloading and running malicious software.

The new anti-malware feature, now fitted into the new OSX Mountain Lion, works behind the scenes to let Mac users either allow or deny application downloads based on where they come from.

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In the "Security and Privacy" preference, the end user gets the choice over whether to allow applications downloaded from:

  • Mac App Store
  • Mac App Store and identified developers
  • Anywhere

The pre-checked default is the "Mac App Store and identified" developers, a setting that works in tandem with Apple's new Developer ID Program.

As part of the Mac Developer Program, Apple gives developers a unique Developer ID for signing their apps. A developer’s digital signature allows Gatekeeper to verify that their app is not known malware and that it hasn’t been tampered with. If an app doesn’t have a Developer ID associated with it, Gatekeeper can let you know before you install it.

More on Gatekeeper from Apple Insider and Daring Fireball.

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