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

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

Summary: 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.

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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.follow Ryan Naraine on twitter

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.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Malware, Operating Systems, Security, Software

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20 comments
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  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    you know where this is headed right?
    bstringy
    • Only apps through the Mac App Store. Why do you ask? [nt]

      [nt]
      olePigeon
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @bstringy

      Waiting for the nuts to come out of the woodwork.

      But let me be the first to say that I hope Apple will not take the iOS approach and allow me to install any applications I want on my system. Its ok to warn me but let me make the decision.
      gribittmep
      • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

        @gribittmep Then you want to click the radio button next to the word "Anywhere"
        YaBaby
    • Obvious solution, I've been calling for it for years...

      for windows ( we have a workable solution for other unixes ).<br><br>This is the most sensible addition to any OS. Being able to restrict software is the most effect malware tool available, short of fixing all bugs.<br><br>Malware detectors are useless (well except for subscription revenue).

      update: Restricting API's to App Store sourced apps, also in Mountain Lion, is more likely to impact consumer choice than gatekeeper.
      Richard Flude
  • But what about bypassing it!

    Someone will come up with a way to hack around this feature, so it just adds another layer, which is good, but not going to stop it all!
    OhTheHumanity
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @OhTheHumanity You can never stop it all ... cough .... excuse me, you actually can stop it all by formatting your HDD and shutting down your computer.
      MrElectrifyer
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    Good to know that but i think it will not stop. they tend to do the same thing always
    jerald76
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    Sounds a bit like UAC in windows
    Jaytmoon
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @Jaytmoon

      But Apples never get viruses, Spyware or malware/ At least that's what they say.
      Orlbuckeye76
      • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

        @jblazsek@... : I guess they never head of MacDefender and its variants. :-)
        Gisabun
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    <sarcasm font "on"> But their ios is perfect - why would they need this? <sarcasm font "off">
    dagodevas
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @dagodevas : NO idea. Maybe Apple ran out of new features. It is a "perfect" iOS as you said.
      Gisabun
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    Oh and Microsoft calls the Microsoft Security Essentials, gee apple if finally showing some of the truths behind security issues with any computer
    bsmi021@...
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @bsmi021@... : Actually there is a difference. MSE will hopefully detect and clean malware and viruses. Gatekeeper looks like a switch. Allow or not. Doesn't even look like it will check for malware.
      Gisabun
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    But why? Mac OSX is completely invulnerable to any sort of attack - I keep being told so by Apple Geniuses and the frothing at the mouth Apple fanzealots on here. So this must be some sort of lie by Microsoft.../sarcasm
    athynz
    • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

      @Pete "athynz" Athens : Shhhhh. Not Microsoft but Google. :-)
      Gisabun
  • A thought

    Is this actually a malware detector? To me it doesn't. More like an on/off switch controlled by the user [and that's not usually good].
    Gisabun
  • RE: Apple pushes 'Gatekeeper' to protect Mac OS X from malware attacks

    MSE at least makes an effort to detect and clean malware
    preferred user
  • Is it a Gatekeeper or an AppStoreKeeper?

    How much is the motivation noble-minded and how much is money-minded? (Certification for sale: which devs are in YOUR wallet?)
    fjpoblam