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OS X on Intel Still Not Complete


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We recieved unconfirmed reports Sunday that Apple is introducing a new version of OS X Intel to developers. This build, 8B1027, is based on Tiger 10.4.2, which brings it up to date with the latest commercial PowerPC versions.

 

There are several interesting things about this new build - first, some applications that were built on the initial version that shipped with the Developers Kits will not work in the new verison. However, all applications that are built using the new version (8B1027) will be unable to run on the earlier (WWDC) iteration. This incompatibility could be in place to deter pirated use of OSx86... or it could simply be that the operating system is still evolving.

 

Reports state that previous attempts to break the TPM support no longer work with this new seed. It would appear that Apple is learning from the hackers efforts and using that information to stop those efforts.

 

Several other fixes are noted with this build, such as completed programming frameworks, improved OpenGL support, and proper localization, as well as a few minor stability improvements.

 

All of this points to the fact that OSx86 is still a work in progress - nothing is complete. This opens a host of questions - why the sudden incompatibility between the two versions? Will the final version that is shipped with the Intel Macs be compatible with this new build? Is the motivation for this new build one of helping developers or detering hackers - or both?

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A giant leap forward, One small step back.

 

Apple isn't going to end anything. They may try, but people will keep figuring out ways to get around the security. I'm not worried about it.

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That sucks. Mainly because it shows that Apple really don´t want (at least not for now) to release a version of Mac OS to every kind of PC.

 

Anyway.. with a team like ours all this effor is useless by Apple. We´ll keep moving the project on.

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There's just one thing I really care about regarding this article: Does it have x86 drivers for NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards, or just for the Intel graphic cards like before?

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That sucks. Mainly because it shows that Apple really don´t want (at least not for now) to release a version of Mac OS to every kind of PC.

 

Anyway.. with a team like ours all this effor is useless by Apple. We´ll keep moving the project on.

 

Yeah, everybody knows they don't. They said so for crying out loud. I don't know why no one believes them and thinks they do want to release it for "every kind of PC." Apple does not want to be microsoft, althought I'm sure they wouldn't mind having the market share. Sure, it might be easier to get that market share by making OS X compatible with all PCs, but they want to deliver the best package they can, and having OS X on all kinds of hardware can't guarantee that.

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I think apple is getting a lot of testing done free of charge. Its quite obvous that they will keep putting in extra levels of protection until finally no one can break it.

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I think apple is getting a lot of testing done free of charge. Its quite obvous that they will keep putting in extra levels of protection until finally no one can break it.

 

Exactly. They've done the same thing to real Mac users in the past, with things like using unsupported CD and DVD burners. It used to be really easy to hack your unsupported drive into the system so it would be supported, but now the best anyone can do is get it supported in iTunes, so you still can't use the Finder to burn data CDs. You can use third party apps like Toast of course, just not the Finder and sometimes iTunes and iDVD won't even work, depending on your drive.

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Guest timepassx

Posted

A giant leap forward, One small step back.

 

Apple isn't going to end anything.  They may try, but people will keep figuring out ways to get around the security.  I'm not worried about it.

 

Depends. I think the TCPA spec allows for pre-stored keys in the TPM chip. If it does, then Apple can make OSX very hard to crack.

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Can someone summarize or point me to a good reference on how exactly TCPA would be used to protect the OS? It seems like there's always a vulnerability, because either:

 

a) Code checks for something (key, computation), and this code can be modified to think it succeeded.

 

:) Code/data is encrypted using key stored on chip. Eventually, however, the code has to be decrypted, and it could be "captured" at that point and patched.

 

I'm not saying it will be easy, but I guess I don't see how this chip is different from all the hardware dongles that exist that are cracked with (granted, sometimes a great deal of) work.

 

/blkblt

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Can someone summarize or point me to a good reference on how exactly TCPA would be used to protect the OS? It seems like there's always a vulnerability, because either:

 

a) Code checks for something (key, computation), and this code can be modified to think it succeeded.

 

:) Code/data is encrypted using key stored on chip. Eventually, however, the code has to be decrypted, and it could be "captured" at that point and patched.

 

I'm not saying it will be easy, but I guess I don't see how this chip is different from all the hardware dongles that exist that are cracked with (granted, sometimes a great deal of) work.

 

/blkblt

 

The best way is to encrypt the kernel (and maybe some essential softwares) with a public key, where private key is stored in the chip. Now, set up the CPU in a special mode which maintains some pages for these decrypted data. There is no way to access the pages, other than "running" them from a specific point. This way, it's almost impossible to read the decrypted data with a software approach, unless there're security bugs in the system.

 

It's still possible to attack this system from a hardware approach, such as monitoring the traffic between the CPU and the TPM chip. However, it would be much harder to do so. Of course, if someone successfully obtained the decrypted kernel, to use them will be much easier.

 

If one really want to make a "killer TPM", it's best to simply put the TPM chip inside the CPU, and let the CPU decrypts data on the fly.

 

Note that through the use of public key system, almost everyone can encrypt their softwares to make sure no one (other than the system maker) can reverse engineering their codes. This will make almost everything much harder to crack. This is one main point behind the whole trusted computing thing.

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Gosh, if Apple does enable the TPM chip on the final release and requires you to continue to purchase over priced Apple equipment, the fate of Apple is not going to look so well.

 

If OS X remains on high over-priced Apple Equipment, Apple will remain the underdog if it remains at all in 20 years. Heck, Apple almost went bankrupt before, but Microsoft saved them. The more popular OS will dominate as it is a fact of business. (Are you renting movies now on Beta?? It was better, but it did not dominate.)

 

However, for those people that have already spent $2000 for a PC and PC devices, aren't going to run out and start buying Apple hardware and Software, well unless maybe if they win the lotto.

 

Now, if Apple lets you install OS X onto any PC that meets the minimum requirements. That then opens it up to being widely available. Millions of people will switch because they have not yet because of high priced hardware. Look the Mac Mini which in the beginning charged 3x the amount of the actual cost of the ram. Oh, but because it is sold by Apple it’s better. False belief.

 

But waaa waaaa because it is an X86 system it is going to be prone to hacks, viruses and Trojans!!! Not exactly. Windows was put together by chewing gum and duck tape with tons of Band-Aids all over the place. This isn’t the case with OS X. It is a much better OS.

 

Some of you don’t want people to switch to the Mac OS. Yes, I know. You want to be in the “Secret Club”. Unfortunately, you need those people for the survival of your “Secret Club” Because like you have seen now. Go to any CompUSA. The Mac Software is one little row. Whereas the PC Software section takes up half the store. As a developer you want to write software for a larger customer base, you want as many copies sold.

 

So the point is, Apple needs to get into the software business and to stop worrying about the hardware. Put your OS out there and crush Microsoft. Then put hardware back out there, market your servers, development tools, web engine, databases, etc.

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:) if you ask me then this it was intent of Apple to let OS X 10.4.1 be pirated so easy. At the end you all will be stuck on a PC system that will not work with the newest OS X and the native x86 software! The people who work at Apple are not idiots - this all is a giant Apple PR campaign and it works very well!

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The best way is to encrypt the kernel (and maybe some essential softwares) with a public key, where private key is stored in the chip. Now, set up the CPU in a special mode which maintains some pages for these decrypted data. There is no way to access the pages, other than "running" them from a specific point. This way, it's almost impossible to read the decrypted data with a software approach, unless there're security bugs in the system.

 

The kernel can then be patched to not protect those special pages, or write the contents of the pages to a serial port/disk/etc.

 

Especially with the kernel being open source, I really am still having a hard time seeing this protection last for long. Again, unless I'm still missing something, which was I had been assuming all along.

 

It's kind of like:

 

If music can be played, it can be copied.

If video can be displayed, it can be copied.

If code can be executed, it can be copied.

 

/blkblt

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So the point is, Apple needs to get into the software business and to stop worrying about the hardware. Put your OS out there and crush Microsoft. Then put hardware back out there, market your servers, development tools, web engine, databases, etc.

 

Apple allready did that in the past when they licensed Mac OS to other Mac Clone manufactors. It was very bad for their business and it was Steve Jobs who stopped the clones. So forget it! Apple will never sell it's OS. They are much more clever than you think. Their Strategy is to sell a complete entourage and it seems to work, they have very good software like final cut, shake, logic audio on the market and that's how they make money with software. look on the itunes music store, it's the same principle - noone beats apple in selling online music but you can only play the songs on their ipod or in itunes (or burn it to cd). I'm sure that you will find yourself sitting at home in front of a Apple Macintosh in the future. They are not that expensive. Everyone knows that Apple sells RAM and some other things overpriced. But you can also upgrade it on your own even on the mini. The basic configuration of a Mac is in most cases really worth the money.

 

Heck, Apple almost went bankrupt before, but Microsoft saved them.

 

That's an old rumor! MS paid Apple some 100 millions because they wanted to sell their Windows CE and the deal was that Apple stopps the Newton PDA (which jobs hated) and all the sue against MS (about copying their system) - Apple had 4 billion cash in these days.

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If OS X remains on high over-priced Apple Equipment, Apple will remain the underdog if it remains at all in 20 years.  Heck, Apple almost went bankrupt before, but Microsoft saved them.

 

Please, for the good of the community, stop being an idiot and don't spout things you know nothing about. Time and time again, this has been proven false, yet people like you still say them. I don't know if you actually believe this tripe, or if you just want to sound like you have a point, but please, filter up until you know facts.

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It's kind of like:

If music can be played, it can be copied.

If video can be displayed, it can be copied.

If code can be executed, it can be copied.

 

you forgot that you can build secure systems IF YOU WANT TO.

 

music: build a system that uses a protection build into the DA that's build into an active speaker.

yes you can record it using a microphone.

 

video:

build a system that will only work with a digital monitor that understands your protected format.

yes you can use a video camera to film it from the screen.

 

code:

TPM will show you. Or Apple uses their own chipsets like they do today on PPC. The developer transition system is just a normal PC noone at Apple ever said that future Macs will be like it. Apple allways designed their own mainboards - the dev system works because they used standard PCs in their labs to run OSX86 the last years.

hmmm...

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As much as I love the mac, Apple needs to rethink this.

 

They are porting there OS to intel...apple folks wake up to the fact you are now on the platform with the most experienced developers in the world is on. Do you truely think you can stop them? You have individuals that been doing X86 ASM for years... literally.... almost as long as how apple been alive...

 

You maybe able to stop the average kid, but not someone who has been working on intel based computers all their life.

 

Sincerly,

 

A Mac G5 & Powerbook user.

 

And yes, I will buy an intel mac.. I would love to buy an intel based mac laptop... just cause of the speed.... is a lot better than PPC G4.

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you forgot that you can build secure systems IF YOU WANT TO.

 

...

 

TPM will show you. Or Apple uses their own chipsets like they do today on PPC. The developer transition system is just a normal PC noone at Apple ever said that future Macs will be like it. Apple allways designed their own mainboards - the dev system works because they used standard PCs in their labs to run OSX86 the last years.

 

OK, I'm trying to understand how to build a secure system using TPM. I'm a computer science major, I just don't understand how -- in practice -- they will be able to completely lock it down. I've yet to hear a technical explanation that convinces me, and that's what I'm looking for. And the whole "IF YOU WANT TO" is bogus -- I'm sure Microsoft *wanted* to build a secure XBox.

 

The demand and interest in running OS X on a vanilla PC is so high that even if it boils down to someone running a logic analyzer in their basement and copying down hex numbers with a #2 pencil, my money would be on the protection being broken. Look at the Cubase releases...they're hardware protected by a dongle, and it sometimes takes months for new releases to be cracked, but in the end, they're cracked.

 

The other important factor is drivers. The kernel is open source. Where there is demand, drivers will be written. Once there are x96 OS X drivers for ATI cards and NVidia cards, they will be copied, and bioses will be reflashed if they need to be.

 

Information has a way of fighting its way free of DRM, and I have a feeling that Apple will be fighting a losing battle (as all vendors who have employed DRM in the past have fought).

 

Can you name some protection schemes in the same "space" that haven't been broken?

 

With respect,

 

/blkblt

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Please, for the good of the community, stop being an idiot and don't spout things you know nothing about.  Time and time again, this has been proven false, yet people like you still say them. I don't know if you actually believe this tripe, or if you just want to sound like you have a point, but please, filter up until you know facts.

 

well apple will just keep his marketshare at best with the x86 move, it's not like people in the x86 world will move en masses to buy some overpriced overpar general x86 hardware in a shiny case. Right now the only real good offer from apple is its os, it's a fullflegded bsd subsystem with a totally retarded gui that makes a darn good job to hide the os underground to joe dumb user, you have to resort to the terminal to do anything power user related . That's both a minus and a plust tho, and it wins where linux has miserably failed a full fledged usable unix desktop for the dumbest idiot in the world.

 

p.s i know that you can call darwin a real unix but that's not the point ;P

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The part that makes me think, Is the "improved OpenGL support" does that mean there might be a chance for ATI drivers they have in OSx86 to work at all?? Because what crashe's ATI drivers is the OpenGL bundle/package. The actual ATI kext's work

 

Regards

HoZy

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