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OS X found using encrypted binaries

updated 04:25 pm EST, Fri November 3, 2006

OS X Encrypted Binaries

Apple has encrypted core elements of its Mac OS X architecture, according to published research cited by eWEEK. Google researcher Amit Singh -- author of the recently released book Mac OS X Internals -- reports that certain binary portions of the operating system which include the Finder, Dock, and parts of Rosetta are protected by Apple, guarding the software against easy modification. Examination of the code reveals an overt anti-piracy effort, with Singh finding both a special "dsmos_page_transform" command and a "Don't Steal Mac OS X.kext" extension file inside the system. Singh and other experts believe the effort is aimed primarily at blocking non-Apple systems from running Mac OS X: "Probably what [the encryption is] used for here is as anti-reverse engineering," said Counterpace Internet Security CTO Bruce Schneier. The executive notes, however, that savvey users may still circumvent the code, and that there is nothing malicious about it. "There's nothing sinister here," he said.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Duh.

    Duh.

    We knew this all along. What did they think the TPM chip on the Intel motherboard was for?

    This is exactly how they're protecting against the OS being run on non-Apple hardware, and currently it is against the DMCA to circumvent the protection to use the software in a way that's contrary to the license.

    This is not news.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    DMCA jurisdiction

    The DMCA only has jurisdiction within the US. It doesn't make it illegal for me to try and reverse engineer Apple's software so it's smart for them to not rest on US law, but build their own "fence" to protect their property.

    But you're right person man, this isn't news. This is something that's been going on forever. Heck, you can even encrypt PHP script to protect it for crying out loud.

  1. simX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple does NOT use TPM

    I'm sorry, person man, but you're wrong. Binary protection is completely different from using a TPM module. Apple doesn't actually use the TPM modules on the motherboard. In fact, the new Mac Pros and the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros do not even HAVE a TPM module on the motherboard.

    Amit Singh says so himself at his website. Read http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/chapter10/tpm/ before you continue spreading misinformation about TPM modules in Intel Macs.

  1. macusersneedtogetalife

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ok, Ok

    Enough squawking. None of you f*** are smart enough to modify this stuff even if it was made available to you, so why are you debating it?

    Back to flipping burgers, dickheads.

  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I stand corrected

    Ok, so Apple's not using the TPM chip.

    Interesting.

    But encryption is still a method Apple is using to try and thwart people trying to use OS X on non-Apple hardware, and they HAVE invoked the DMCA to protect their method.

  1. sigzero

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    So what?

    I could care less if they are doing this. If you do then maybe you should find another platform.

    Apple has every right to try and "thwart people trying to use OSX on non-Apple hardware".

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    teeth for DMCA

    At the least it gives Apple a target for DMCA violations. If you have to have broken the encryption then they can sue you for DMCA violations. If all you have to do is write a few of your own drivers etc, it is less clear I think.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    So what?

    Ah, so apparantly Apple encrypts some system-level stuff.

    So why is it that these OSX86 hacks even exist? Can't be that well encrypted then if more than a few versions of hacked OS X's (JaS, Myz, Goatsec releases etc.) are around, to run on non-Apple hardware.

  1. blue80907

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Please read software lic

    Beeble, you are wrong. First off in #2 of the software license it reads: Except as and only to the extent expressly permitted in this License or by applicable law, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, or create derivative works of the Apple Software or any part thereof. Part 8 says you CAN'T export it to another country. You may not use or otherwise export or rexport the Apple Software except as authorized by United States law and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the Apple Software was obtained.

    Negating both your points.

    It's all alphabet soup. Anyone who wants to run OS X should not use it on INFERIOR hardware. Would you run your car on gain alcohol just because you can?

    macusersneedtogetalife: you need to get a life and get out of here and in some microsoft forum. You are extremely rude!

  1. ccsccs7

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Encryption

    Okay, so does the encryption of the Finder slow it down? What about Rosetta?

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