| Here's a somewhat interesting link to an eweek article that discusses | Apple's use of encryption to protect some of its OS X binaries: | http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2050875,00.asp | | Of course, encrypting binaries isn't anything new, but it's | interesting (IMHO) to see how it's being used in a real OS. The | article cites speculation as to whether Apple uses encryption for | anti-piracy or anti-reverse-engineering. Actually, it's pretty clear why they are doing it, if you look at the pieces they encrypt. The Finder and Dock have no particularly valuable intellectual property in them, but they are fundamental to the GUI. Encrypting them means that a version of OS X that's been modified to boot on non-Apple hardware won't have a GUI, thus limiting its attractiveness to non-hackers. To really get the result to be widely used, someone would have to write a replacement for these components that looked "enough like the original". And of course, since they built a general-purpose mechanism, nothing prevents Apple encrypting other components later.
Rosetta (the binary translator for PowerPC programs) isn't an essential program. Apple may simply consider it valuable, but I think it's more likely that they may be preparing the way for the next step: Encrypting applications they deliver as "native". Since the encryption isn't supported on PowerPC, running those applications under Rosetta would provide a quick way to get around encryption for the native versions of applications. It is worth pointing out that while Darwin, the underlying OS, is open source, no part of the GUI code, or Rosetta, or any of Apple's applications, have ever been open source. -- Jerry _______________________________________________ Secure Coding mailing list (SC-L) SC-L@securecoding.org List information, subscriptions, etc - http://krvw.com/mailman/listinfo/sc-l List charter available at - http://www.securecoding.org/list/charter.php