Apple has updated a documentation page detailing the company’s next steps to prevent last week’s Gatekeeper server issue from happening again, as Rene Ritchie spotted.
macOS includes a technology called Gatekeeper, that’s designed to ensure that only trusted software runs on your Mac. The safest place to get apps for your Mac is the App Store. Apple reviews each app in the App Store before it’s accepted and signs it to ensure that it hasn’t been tampered with or altered. If there’s ever a problem with an app, Apple can quickly remove it from the store.
If you download and install apps from the internet or directly from a developer, macOS continues to protect your Mac. When you install Mac apps, plug-ins, and installer packages from outside the App Store, macOS checks the Developer ID signature to verify that the software is from an identified developer and that it has not been altered. By default, macOS Catalina and later also requires software to be notarized, so you can be confident that the software you run on your Mac doesn’t contain known malware. Before opening downloaded software for the first time, macOS requests your approval to make sure you aren’t misled into running software you didn’t expect.
Apple had a difficult launch day last week. The company released macOS Big Sur, a major update for macOS. Apple then suffered from server-side issues.
Third-party apps failed to launch as your Mac couldn’t check the developer certificate of the app. That feature, called Gatekeeper, makes sure that you didn’t download a malware app that disguises itself as a legit app. If the certificate doesn’t match, macOS prevents the app launch.
Jacopo Jannone intercepted an unencrypted network request and found out that Apple is not secretly spying on you. Gatekeeper really does what it says it does.
Apple is overhauling the design of the network request and adding a user-facing opt-out option.
In addition, over the the next year we will introduce several changes to our security checks:
• A new encrypted protocol for Developer ID certificate revocation checks
• Strong protections against server failure
• A new preference for users to opt out of these security protections
MacDailyNews Take: Thank you, Apple for letting us launch our apps! We kid. Gatekeeper is a useful tool and it’s great to see Apple addressing the obvious issues to make it even better.