Radar Detector for Your Dashboard (Updated)

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Date: Tuesday, May 10th, 2005, 09:35
Category: Archive

Wired News: “A security hole in Dashboard could expose users of Apple Computer’s new Tiger operating system to attack, and may put personal information like passwords and credit card data at risk… For the convenience of users, most widgets automatically install themselves. But experts fear any program that auto-installs is ripe for exploitation.”
John Cleary responds:

There are TWO levels of security associated with a Widget:
1) Safari can be told to not “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading,” which includes Widgets. Other potential exploits are stopped by this too.
2) When you run a widget for the first time it asks you if you are SURE you want to run it.
This is more than enough security. If you download a widget, the system asks you if you want to run it. This is no worse than any other software on the Mac OS. If one wanted to write a Trojan for Mac OS X (not a Virus, as it would not be able to automatically replicate) it would be child’s play.
This is a good example of why people should be wary of the software they download in any instance. Any piece of software you download could do huge amounts of damage. You shouldn’t download from an untrusted source or open any file that someone sends you without checking it out first. Common sense.


Wired News: “A security hole in Dashboard could expose users of Apple Computer’s new Tiger operating system to attack, and may put personal information like passwords and credit card data at risk… For the convenience of users, most widgets automatically install themselves. But experts fear any program that auto-installs is ripe for exploitation.”
John Cleary responds:

There are TWO levels of security associated with a Widget:
1) Safari can be told to not “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading,” which includes Widgets. Other potential exploits are stopped by this too.
2) When you run a widget for the first time it asks you if you are SURE you want to run it.
This is more than enough security. If you download a widget, the system asks you if you want to run it. This is no worse than any other software on the Mac OS. If one wanted to write a Trojan for Mac OS X (not a Virus, as it would not be able to automatically replicate) it would be child’s play.
This is a good example of why people should be wary of the software they download in any instance. Any piece of software you download could do huge amounts of damage. You shouldn’t download from an untrusted source or open any file that someone sends you without checking it out first. Common sense.

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