Apple responds to concerns over its malware check process

Apple's gatekeeper technology scans apps for malware content.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Apple has responded to Mac users' criticisms over its gatekeeper technology, saying the tech verifies malware content in an app and checks whether a developer’s signed certificate is cancelled.

The Cupertino-based company's gatekeeper technology was criticised last week after a number of Mac users had trouble opening apps or experienced a slowdown.

The iPhone maker clarified on its support page about the functions of this technology and why it is important to have it.

Gatekeeper technology ensures that only trusted software runs on Mac, Apple said.

Apple reviews each app in the App Store and ensures that it is not tampered. It can block an app if it detects a problem.

However, the company will allow users to temporarily override their Mac security settings to open an app if they are certain that the app is from a trustworthy source.

If an unidentified developer’s app fails to install, it will appear in the General tab under Security & Privacy in System Preferences. Users can click ‘Open Anyway’ to open or install the app.

Some users criticised Apple for gathering too much information about users’ activities.

Security researcher Jeffrey Paul said in a blog that Apple's security process collects information about every programme a Mac user runs, along with their IP address and that their activity log is saved.

Apple, however, said it never combined data from these checks with information about its users or their devices.

"We do not use data from these checks to learn what individual users are launching or running on their devices," the company said.

These security checks never included the user’s Apple ID or the identity of their device.

Apple has also stopped logging IP addresses associated with developer ID certificate checks. Any IP addresses collected will be removed from logs, it said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 3:27:10 PM |

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