Future security from the past

Anyone remember a former Mac app called Little Flocker, written by Jonathan Zdziarski? I do, because I used to use it. Essentially, it was a program that would block unauthorized file access by programs and processes based on a set of rules that could be modified by the computer owner.

Then something funny happened — in early 2017, Apple made Zdziarski, a man who just happened to be a computer forensics expert who also knew a lot about iOS security, a job offer he apparently couldn’t refuse. Zdziarski sold Little Flocker to F-Secure who then rolled it into their XFENCE product. That’s when I quit using it.

So it caught my attention when, today at the 2018 WWDC, Apple announced that two security upgrades coming to macOS Mojave are camera and microphone access protection, and similar file system, mail database, message history, and computer backup protection. These security features will work by not allowing third party apps or processes to access any of the aforementioned without permission — which is exactly how Little Flocker used to work.

Do I see the hand of Zdziarski here? Very possibly.