Monday, April 11, 2005

Mac OS X virii & Automator

Automator scares me.
It's a cliché to say that there are no virii for OS X. That's how it is now, and I am amazed so far no one seems to have fully understood the malicious potential of Automator. Must be that the developer mind is innocent, so all the preadded command pieces in Automator are only innocent, and can be used just to increase productivity. Right. Just don't analyze how you could actually use the code, and let all those "send to everyone in AddressBook", "mass mail", and commands that I don't comment (being able to apply unix commands has the most potential) float in the mind, on the level of just optimizing your PDF workflow...
Execute unix commands, delete files, transform them to other formats, apply the mass emailing to anything, ... the potential scares me. Writing workflows may have never been easier (except if you ever bothered to learn e.g. AppleScript basics?), but on the flipside it looks that anyone on AOL user level is able to write his (I do classify personally everything that enables massmail and deleting files at least potentially malicious) own code with that. Maybe it will need a 13 years old kid to realize with a bunch of C++, Objective-C, or Cocoa to realize the full potential.
If so would be, maybe finally there would be market for OS X anti-virus programs. DIY virii with GUI. How many bad codes, or epidemies, would it take to add a warning to Automator? When will our government make rules about using any scripts at work?
I am still not able to do what I wanted to with Automator - an idea for a script that I had months and months ago. It didn't work then, and it does not work now. But that would have been for my own, positive use. So in Mac OS X there are no virii from 10.0 until 10.3.x. So far. What about 10.4? As long as Automator code can be limited to influence the environment it was created for, and the computer it was created for, probably nothing to worry. Except the mass mailing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A virus requires root priviliges. Mac OS X is a Unix system, therefore no access to the root level goes unnoticed. It is very hard to pass by that protection. I don't see the slightest danger with Automator, really.

2:58 PM  

Post a Comment |

<< Home