The Symbolic-Link Edition Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hackers Are Poking At A MacOS Flaw Apple Left Unfixed, by Brian Barrett, Wired

Apple first introduced Gatekeeper in 2012, as part of OS X Mountain Lion. It works by scanning apps that you download from outside of Apple’s Mac App Store to check if they’ve been “code-signed,” a process that verifies whether software comes from the developer it claims to, and that it hasn’t been tampered with. Gatekeeper also maintains a blacklist of known malware, to flag problematic downloads before you open them.

What Cavallarin realized, and what hackers have since glommed on to, is that Gatekeeper doesn’t treat all files equally. Specifically, it considers applications coming from external drives, or shared over a network, as safe. So if you can trick someone into opening a .zip file that contains a so-called symbolic link to a Network File System you control, you can place whatever malware you want on the victim’s system without Gatekeeper batting an eye. It’s a little bit like getting past the bouncer because you’re dressed in the catering company uniform.


Apple Will Let Shopify Store Owners Use iMessage Customer Support, by Mariella Moon, Engadget

Cupertino is expanding the service and giving you a way to talk to all 820,000 Shopify merchants via iMessage. Some merchants like HODINKEE and State Bicycle are already using Business Chat to communicate with their customers, but now Apple and Shopify are rolling out the option for everyone, including sellers outside the US.


Fuck Hard Work, by David Heinemeier Hansson, Signal V Noise

The first rebuke to this reflexive compliment should always be to point out the survivorship bias. The world is full of people who work very hard, in that literal, long-hours sort of way, and yet only a tiny minority of those end up with fawning fans celebrating that oh-so-hard work.

But, I think, more interesting is that the world is also full of successful people who don’t work very hard at all, again, in that literal, long-hours, no-vacations, self-flagellation sort of way everyone is so eager to cheer for (at least in the US).


A Photo History Of Frog, The Company That Designed The Original Mac, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

It’s the 50th anniversary of the founding of Frog Design (or, as the company styles it, just “frog”). Founded in 1969 by Hartmut Esslinger in Germany, the company created some of the early designs for Sony, but its breakout moment came with Apple in the early ‘80s.

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Starve a fever, feed a cold? I guess I will be eating a lot more these next few days...


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