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Apple forces Mac App Store developers to sandbox applications

Limiting potential vulnerabilities
Thu Nov 03 2011, 14:58

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Apple has instructed developers that all applications submitted to the Mac App Store will have to be sandboxed.

Apple launched its Mac App Store as a way of delivering the instant gratification its Iphone and Ipod Touch users have gotten used to with IOS on the firm's Mac OS X operating system. Now the cappuccino company has said that all applications submitted for approval after 1 March 2012 must use sandboxing.

With Apple having final say on what appears on its various App Stores, there is little chance of developers getting out of sandboxing their applications. From the users' point of view, Apple's insistence that developers sandbox their applications should help contain the damage caused by any malware.

Sandboxing is a popular way of restricting resources to applications and has been implemented in many 'app containers' such as web browsers. The problem is that it doesn't tackle the causes of malware, only the effects, meaning that applications could still have vulnerabilities, but the potential damage is far less.

Apple's announcement gives developers ample time to make the changes needed to their applications in order to work in a sandboxed environment. It also gives Apple fanbois a chance to keep that undeserved air smugness for just a little while longer. µ


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