F-Secure Acquires Jonathan Zdziarski's Mac Security App 'Little Flocker'

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Cyber security company F-Secure has acquired Little Flocker, the behavioral analysis-based monitoring app for Macs, developed by iPhone forensics expert and security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, who joined Apple last month.

    The Helsinki-based firm announced the news in a press release posted to its site, where it revealed that Little Flocker would be built into a new security product it's releasing, called XFENCE.

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    F-Secure said that the "myth" of Macs not requiring protection against ransomware, backdoors, and other software was fading away, due to "Apple's popularity among senior-level employees and other high-value targets". By acquiring Little Flocker, it said it hoped to further enhance its products' existing cyber security capabilities for the sophisticated detection of zero-day attacks.

    For businesses, the core technology is to be combined with F-Secure's security cloud and packaged into its Protection Service for Business, a security solution with centrally managed computer, mobile and server security with integrated patch management and mobile device management. Consumer customers can make use of the Flocker technology with F-Secure Safe, the company's multi-device security product.

    Little Flocker developer Zdziarski announced in March that he was joining Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture team. Known as "NerveGas" within the jailbreaking community, Zdziarski had provided input on a number of important iOS-related security matters over the years, including Apple's high-profile battle with the FBI over unlocking an iPhone used by a shooter in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

    Article Link: F-Secure Acquires Jonathan Zdziarski's Mac Security App 'Little Flocker'
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Indeed, Macs are not completely immune but so far we've had no ransomware out in the wild.
     
  3. dantroline macrumors regular

    dantroline

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    #3
    I have this app. I'm amazed at what it picks up. For example, App Store wants to access my camera when it starts up, I'd like to know why! On the other hand it can take a little bit of training, a bit like NoScript does for Firefox.

    However I think for really security conscious people an open source version of the software would be ideal, if only there were developers willing to do it...
     
  4. arilev macrumors member

    arilev

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    #4
    The camera can be used to snap a photo of prepaid/gift card codes so that you don't have to enter a crazy long string of numbers manually. Lots of people pay for their App Store and iTunes purchases this way.
     
  5. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601

    PinkyMacGodess

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    #5
    Yeah, I get 'points' for buying gas, and when I get enough points, I turn them in for an iTunes gift card. It's about the only thing they offer for points that I can get. Makes total sense too. Well, at least I'm getting something usable...
     
  6. diarbyrag macrumors newbie

    diarbyrag

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    #6
    Having recently bought this I assume that in it's present form it is now dead, with no updates or support from the new owners ? ...

    F-Secure costs around £80 per year so that ain't cheap
     
  7. MrSkoTA macrumors member

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    #7
    Um, Wut!?! To my knowledge there has been Mac Ransomeare. One of them was from downloading Transmission from the source!
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I was unaware of that, do you have any links that detail this?

    Thanks
     
  9. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

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    #9
    MalwareBytes have a few instances mentioned on their blog:

    https://blog.malwarebytes.com/cybercrime/2016/03/first-mac-ransomware-spotted/
    https://blog.malwarebytes.com/threat-analysis/2017/02/mac-ransomware-on-piracy-sites/
    https://blog.malwarebytes.com/threat-analysis/2017/01/new-mac-backdoor-using-antiquated-code/
     
  10. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

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    #10
  11. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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  12. whothefvck, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017

    whothefvck macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Patrick Wardle summarized Mac Malware of 2016 pretty good.
     
  13. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended

    OldSchoolMacGuy

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    #13
    This app is basically a rip off of FileDefense. Uses the same mechanisms.
     
  14. bennyf macrumors regular

    bennyf

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    #14
    Bought Little Flocker and tried to use, but was just too annoying. Also a super pain to uninstall (have to google a terminal command...).

    Not really suited to everyday use. F-secure can maybe make it practical for everyday users.
     
  15. You are the One macrumors 6502a

    You are the One

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    #15
    I like Zdziarski so I went to F-Secure and read about it. Sounds useful. Read up on their vpn-service Freedome as well. They offer a vpn-service to private persons and then they use technology to block protocols in their customers traffic. As a customer you will not know this unless your read their fine-print. And logging they do of course.

    So from a Privacy-prespective F-Secure suck. I don't like them not being upfront with their vpn-service as well.

    I'll scrutinise their EULA for XFence before I decide if it's interesting.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 6, 2017 ---
    It's an honest question. Be nice :D
     
  16. Naaaaak macrumors 6502

    Naaaaak

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    #16
    Effectively removing it from sale or download in the meantime.

    Their corporate site is garbage and search fails.
     
  17. weup togo macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I'm in the same boat. I'm guessing we early adopters get the shaft for supporting him at the beginning. As an Apple employee he pretty much has to wash his hands of the whole affair, and the new corporate overlords aren't going to give a **** about the few of us who knew about it before now.
     
  18. tuukkap macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Hi, please read https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/legal/privacy/freedome-no-nav for more information about privacy with Freedome. Working at F-Secure, I can say that our company does care a LOT about privacy, and at least I do not consider us sucking so much in that sense :) We jump a few extra hoops to further anonymise the collected data.

    Yes, you probably get even more privacy by using something like Tor, but Freedome is offering security as well. Related article here: https://www.opswat.com/blog/malware-spread-tor-exit-node
    Without trying to advertise too much, there was also a university research recently (linked in the article), where Freedome was found to be amongst the better VPN clients for security: https://arstechnica.com/security/20...ns-cant-be-trusted-to-make-users-more-secure/

    Finally, Finland has pretty good privacy laws but like any country, the legislation still pose some requirements for providing these services.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2017 ---
    Hello, one of the corporate overlords here, and giving a world about the few of you. No plans on shafting anyone ;) Instead we have been discussing about how to reach you early adopters to find a way for you to keep running and updating the product. Would love to hear from all of you and get valuable feedback in future too, so stay tuned.
     
  19. weup togo, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

    weup togo macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Great to hear. Your stock went way up for actually being engaged with the community. I follow Mikko on Twitter, which is how I found out about the acquisition.

    Honestly I'm sure the number of Jonathan's paying customers is so small that it might not be worth the effort. But I do appreciate that you at least know we exist. I don't actually think you owe us anything. With Jonathan going to Apple, the product was effectively dead anyway due to their IP and PR policies. I'm just glad the functionality is finding a home where the polish and ease of use can continue to improve for non-bleeding edge users.
     
  20. diarbyrag macrumors newbie

    diarbyrag

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    #20
    I actually had a reply from Jonathan and he assured me that f-secure would honour existing LF licences, so perhaps if they are watching this forum they could let us know exactly what we need to do ? unless of course he gave them our contact info from the purchase details ...
     
  21. tuukkap macrumors newbie

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    Apr 10, 2017
    #21
    Thanks :)

    We will be contacting all of you existing LF customers via email hopefully still this week, based on the customer list we were provided. More information in the email, but basically you will have access to F-Secure XFENCE so no worries.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2017 ---
    No need to do anything yet, we have the contact list and as mentioned above, will contact you soon :)
     
  22. diarbyrag macrumors newbie

    diarbyrag

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    #22
    Thanks for the update, looking forward to where you will take what is already a useful product
     
  23. You are the One macrumors 6502a

    You are the One

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    Thumbs up for engaging with your customers here @ MacRumors.

    Recently read about Finlands new coming surveillance laws. How will that impact your service?
     
  24. maugustine macrumors regular

    maugustine

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    #24
    Does anyone know how to uninstall XFence once you've installed it?
     
  25. maugustine macrumors regular

    maugustine

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    #25
    Found it :)

    To uninstall F-Secure XFENCE, first disable it from the menu bar, and then run the following command:

    sudo bash /Library/XFENCE/uninstall.sh
     

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