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MacBytes
May 11, 2005, 12:25 AM
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Category: 3rd Party Software
Link: Guard against Auto-Install with "Widget, The World Watcher" (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050511012507)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nbs2
May 11, 2005, 08:57 AM
maybe i don't understand the situation right. i thought the problem was not with the widget auto-installing and running, but with the fact that the widget is malicious. how is getting permission to run the widget going to stop it from being harmful. so confusing, sometime.

shamino
May 11, 2005, 11:16 AM
maybe i don't understand the situation right. i thought the problem was not with the widget auto-installing and running, but with the fact that the widget is malicious. how is getting permission to run the widget going to stop it from being harmful. so confusing, sometime.
No, auto-installation is the key problem.

No automated program can know if another program is malicious or not.

Suppose a program tries to reformat your hard drive. Malicious? Maybe. Or maybe it's a disk utility that you installed for the explicit purpose of reformatting a flaky drive.

Suppose a program is logging keystrokes and sending them to a remote server. Malicious? Maybe. Or maybe it's part of a security-auditing package your company has installed. (I disapprove of companies that do this sort of thing, but they do exist.)

As long as the person responsible for the computer knows about and approves of a program, then there is no reason why some automated package should refuse to let him install it. It is the ability for something to auto-install without the user's knowledge that is the key problem here.