The OS X Files – Lack of Easy-to-Use Strong Security Preventing Adoption

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Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2002, 01:00
Category: Archive


I have still not moved to OS X, because of security concerns. I am curious if you’ve seen many holdouts.

I use DiskLock with OS 9.2.2. I suspect that DiskLock is not planning a OS X product, they probably don’t see enough market demand. People may be lulled into thinking OS X is secure since there is the initial password-enabled signon (easily defeated by booting from a CD or in OS 9). From reading various discussion groups, it appears that Apple will eventually make encryption available native to OS X (i.e. all data on the drive can be encrypted) transparent to the user, but it has not yet been implemented and there is no announced schedule.

You can park your sensitive data on a Disk Image using DiskCopy’s 128 bit encryption .. but that causes the extra step of mounting the disk image, and aliases made of data on that image cannot be used to open data within the image until the image itself is opened. I had hoped that double clicking on the alias would access keychain to open the disk image, then open the file, but no luck on that.

Also VST (SmartDisk), at least as of last month, had not released drivers for 10.1 which read their 56-bit encrypted data.

I’ve mounted OS X on my wife’s iBook and play with it so I can keep up with the literature .. and once it is more secure, I’ll make the switch.

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