Monday, December 16, 2019

Catalina Removes Malware Assurance

Howard Oakley:

If you’ve updated to macOS Catalina 10.15.2 [actually, 10.15.1 —MT] and installed any notarized apps since, you might have noticed that something has gone missing. Do you remember that dialog shown by Gatekeeper when you first open a notarized app, telling you that “Apple checked it for malicious software and none was detected”? Well, that sentence has now vanished. Instead, that dialog now looks very similar to the pre-Catalina dialog for non-notarized apps.


If you then go and check that dialog against Apple’s support note explaining how Gatekeeper works in Catalina and earlier, you’ll see that this new dialog doesn’t appear to exist in Catalina. You could be forgiven for assuming that your system had been subverted by malware, or the app you were just trying to open wasn’t notarized at all.


Maybe Apple wants to distance itself from the reliability of its checks for malware now.


Update (2019-12-17): Norbert M. Doerner:

I really wish they would change the massively offensive text of the scare window when launching non-notarized apps. I take great offense in Apple placing the word malware in the same sentence as the app name. Unacceptable.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Notorization was always about Apple’s control over developers, and getting direct access to every application shipped for OS X. Just think of the value in that data. Plus it is another lock on what developers can and can't ship. How long until Apple fails notorization for doing something Apple doesn't like (using private APIs, violating Apple’s trademark or copyright (in Apple’s view), competing with Apple, whatever).

Funny though, I've never had that “Apple checked it for malicious software and none was detected” sentence on Catalina, from early betas to 10.15.1! I thought it was removed deliberately, since on Catalina notarisation is required and that sentence has no point.

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