Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Thursday, 29 March 2012 10:54

Apple Software Installer Update addresses certificate woes

By

Did you notice last week's Apple Software Installer Update 1.0? Now we know why we need it.

Last week, Apple pushed out Apple Software Installer Update 1.0 with the bland description "This update addresses an issue that may prevent certain Apple software from installing." That sounds pretty low key, right? After all, the qualifiers "may" and "certain" tend to imply that it's a fairly obscure issue that most of us won't run into.

But there the description also included the boilerplate "This update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X 10.6.8" so cautious types would have been pulled in two directions: should I take Apple's advice and apply this update even though it provides no obvious benefit and might possibly adversely affect the smooth running of my system?

Now some users have worked out what Apple didn't tell us about the update and why it is so important.

The Software Installer as supplied with Snow Leopard checks the security certificate within installer packages, and the certificate Apple attached to a wide range of updates and software installers expired this month. Consequently, the original Software Installer refuses to install them.

So if you need to reinstall Snow Leopard from DVD, you won't be able to bring it (more or less) up to date by using the copy of the 10.6.8 combo updater that you downloaded more than a few weeks ago. Instead, you'll need to download a fresh copy of the 10.6.8 updater, either from Apple's web site or via Software Update.

Page 2: problems and solutions

 


You can't simply update the 10.6.0 installation with Apple Software Installer Update 1.0 and then use the old 10.6.8 updater, because the Software Installer update requires 10.6.8.

The problem apparently extends to applications, with the iLife '11 DVD reportedly being affected. But that's no big deal for most users, as they can simply apply the Software Installer update and then proceed.

Life's more complicated if you manage a fleet of Macs using an automated software distribution mechanism. So Greg Neagle, a Mac administrator in an enterprise environment, has created a python script to help remove certificates from packages.

But wasn't the whole point of attaching certificates to packages to improve security? That is, the certificate provides assurance that the package really came from Apple and hasn't been tampered with. If that was a good idea, why is it suddenly a good idea to ignore expired certificates?

Or is the problem simply that Apple used a certificate that expired far too soon?


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Active Vs. Passive DWDM Solutions

An active approach to your growing optical transport network & connectivity needs.

Building dark fibre network infrastructure using WDM technology used to be considered a complex challenge that only carriers have the means to implement.

This has led many enterprises to build passive networks, which are inferior in quality and ultimately limit their future growth.

Why are passive solutions considered inferior? And what makes active solutions great?

Read more about these two solutions, and how PacketLight fits into all this.

CLICK HERE!

WEBINAR INVITE 8th & 10th September: 5G Performing At The Edge

Don't miss the only 5G and edge performance-focused event in the industry!

Edge computing will play a critical part within digital transformation initiatives across every industry sector. It promises operational speed and efficiency, improved customer service, and reduced operational costs.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

But these technologies will only reach their full potential with assured delivery and performance – with a trust model in place.

With this in mind, we are pleased to announce a two-part digital event, sponsored by Accedian, on the 8th & 10th of September titled 5G: Performing at the Edge.

REGISTER HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Stephen Withers

joomla visitors

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments