Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-09-02

September! Summer is winding down and we are looking down the season of Apple events. It starts next week Wednesday with an event that Apple labeled “Far Out.”


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We did get a few interesting releases this week, such as TwoCanoes Xcreds 2 and a new Munki 6 beta. But mostly it seems everyone is either just returning from summer vacation or holding their breath for next week.

The Fall conference is getting close with JNUC (hybrid), MacSysAdmin (online) and Objective-by-the-Sea (in-person) coming up and MacAD.UK has opened the registration for their event next spring. You can always see all conferences on my overview page.

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-08-26

Back from the summer break! Though for travel scheduling, this post is happening at an unsual time of day. It does seem like everyone else kept working, as a lot of interesting posts have accumulated.


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Apple also continued with the beta releases for macOS Ventura and iOS 16. They have already announced an event on September 7. This will presumably be focussed on the iPhone and maybe the Apple Watch. In any way, this means that the releases of the systems currently in beta is closer than you might think. How is your testing going?

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📰News and Opinion

🌼macOS Ventura and iOS 16

⚙️macOS and iOS Updates

🐦Social Media

  • Timothy Perfitt: “you know when you open a profile on macOS in the Finder, it doesn’t open System Preferences and just says “go find it yourself, fancy pants”? Turns out that you can set up a launchdaemon to open it for you. Read on, fancy pants.” (Thread)
  • Zachary Cutlip: “I set up a Raspberry Pi as a Time Machine server, and made it look like an Xserve in Finder (Set fruit:model = Xserve under [global] in smb.conf)”

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

📺To Watch

🎧To Listen

🎈Just for Fun

📚Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-07-15

macOS Ventura and iOS 16 went public beta this week. We also got a release candidate for macOS 12.5 and iOS 15.6. Just is case you were wondering if it was time to relax yet.


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Talking about time to relax: this will be the last news summary before the summer break. The Scripting OS X News Summary will return on August 26, just in time for the last phase of the iOS 16 and macOS 13 beta phase.

Hope you get some relaxation in, too!

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

Social Media

  • Mr. Macintosh: “This means that if you have macOS systems running 12.2.1 and lower, you will still need the full installer to upgrade to Ventura. If you have Macs running 12.3 and newer, you can upgrade to Ventura with the new faster & smaller delta upgrade.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-07-08

We have not reached the summer doldrums yet, as we got new betas (number five) for the macOS 12.5 and iOS 15.6 updates. The macOS update seems to break a lot of AppleScript functionality, so let’s hope this is not the last beta. We also got the third beta for macOS Ventura and iOS 16, with a surprise announcement from Apple that they are adding a new ‘Lockdown’ heightened security mode for sensitive users, to both iOS and macOS.


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New macOS ‘covid’ Malware Masquerades as Apple, Wears Face of APT

A fake VPN delivers a Sliver implant with a further malicious payload. APT or Red Team? The IoCs can look the same to defenders.

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Yesterday, we had the first post-pandemic Dutch MacAdmins meeting hosted by Adyen in Amsterdam. It was great to see so many people face-to-face again, but I also like that we had nearly as many attendees online than in person. Thanks to everyone who helped organize this and who attended.

Talking about conferences, you can buy MacSysAdmin Online 2022 T-shirts. Remember that viewing the session videos will be free, but with the T-shirt purchase you help support the people who make all of this possible. Last year, there were also Scripting OS X stickers that came with the shirt, and we may have some plans for this year…

If you still have room in your closet for another piece of clothing, you can buy more apparel (or a tote bag or a mug) and support the MacAdmins Foundation. Got to have something to wear for the next MacAdmins meeting.

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

macOS and iOS Updates

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-07-01

Today is the first day of July which means that 2022 is half done. For me, this always comes as a bit of a surprise. Every day and week seem to be crammed with more and more news, events, and things to do and often seem interminable. But, days and weeks as a plural seem to be just flitting by.


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Use of Obfuscated Beacons in ‘pymafka’ Supply Chain Attack Signals a New Trend in macOS Attack TTPs

A new typosquatting attack against the PyPI repository targets enterprise Macs with a distinctive obfuscation method.

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In other “where has the time gone” related news: the first iPhone was released 15 years ago this week. Back then, the iPhone was obviously the beginning of something new, though no-one, or very few, grasped just how big and transformative smart phones were going to be, for Apple, the industry, and society as a whole.

Apple is special to have several products that disrupted their markets, but the iPhone stands out even among these. A mobile super computer with always-on connectivity in your pocket was imaginable before, but the reality exceeded most fiction and fantasies, and in many ways ran off in directions that weren’t anticipated at all.

Of course, the success of the iPhone and all the related products also transformed the company from permanently “beleaguered” to a multi-trillion-dollar company, which created several markets in its periphery. The “people who manage Apple devices for organisations” or “MacAdmins” niche is of course one of these markets and one I am very happy to provide some service to. This niche existed 15 years ago, but on a very different scale.

By coincidence, the iPhone arrived about 15 years after I took the first steps in the “Mac admin” space, when I started working with some companies helping them manage their “Macintosh” deployments in 1992. So much manual work back then…

Let’s see what the next 15 years bring!

Aside from reminiscing, July 1st also means that summer is here (in the Northern hemisphere) and some things really are slowing down a bit. Hope you will some time off to relax and enjoy!

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-06-24

Things are calming down with the upcoming summer. We did get a series of new betas for macOS Ventura and iOS 16 this week.


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CrateDepression: Rust Supply-Chain Attack Infects Cloud CI Pipelines with Go Malware

Mac and Linux users were targeted with Mythic payload as attackers sought to infect entire user populations at once through a malicious Rust crate.

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In personal news, Covid has finally caught up with me after dodging it for more than two years. My symptoms are mild, thanks to being vaccinated, but I couldn’t attend and present at the Jamf Nation Live event in Munich, something I had been looking forward to very much. Many thanks to Mischa and Rob who jumped in and covered my sessions and all the other Jamf co-workers in Munich. Maybe next year…

If I can’t present in person, I will present remotely. Next week, June 30, I will remotely present on Patch Management at the MacAdminsUA meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine!

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

Social Media

  • Thomas Larking (LinkedIn): “This week my team and I released Munki to our entire fleet. We took our time to build it right and I wanted to share some quick thoughts about skill and background diversity on my team…”
  • Salajander:hdiutil, hidutil, and hiutil are all valid commands on macOS.”
  • Anthony Reimer: “I’ve updated my Mac Obsolescence Chart with the upcoming MacBook Pro and Air models, plus I’ve marked the models for which Monterey will be their terminal OS.”

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

To Watch

To Listen

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-06-17

First week post WWDC and there are many more reactions and even some nice features, or rather dogcows discovered in the beta releases. (Moof!)


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7 New Security Changes macOS Admins Should Be Aware Of

As WWDC 2022 closes out, here are some interesting – and potentially disruptive – changes with macOS Ventura that have received less attention.

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Greg Neagle points out that other new features in Ventura may spell some trouble or at least extra preparation work for MacAdmins.

We also got beta3 of macOS 12.5, iOS 15.6 and siblings. So many things to test.

MacDevOps YVR is happening right now, as well as the PSU MacAdmin Campfire sessions! So many things to watch.

The M2 13″ MacBook Pro (the strange left over design with the TouchBar) can be ordered starting today, and the benchmarks look quite amazing. I am waiting for the M2 MacBook Air. I want that shiny midnight blue newness…

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

Social Media

  • John C. Welch: “For ASOC folks: if you copy /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Library/Xcode/Templates/Project Templates/macOS/Other/AppleScrip App.xctemplate from Xcode 13.x to /Applications/Xcode-beta.app/Contents/Developer/Library/Xcode/Templates/Project Templates/Other/ then you can still create ASOC apps with Xcode 14 beta.”
  • James Dempsey: “Ah, Xcode Server—you arrived with Xcode 5 as part of OS X Server, then became part of Xcode itself in Xcode 9, and are now deprecated in Xcode 14. Thank you for nine wonderful years of never quite working right for me.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-06-10

WWDC! As usual, we get the previews and betas for the upcoming systems from Apple. Monterey seemed to be a some what quieter “tok”, to Big Sur’s “tik” release, mostly focusing on consolidation and stability. macOS Ventura, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 look like substantive “tik” releases, full of new features and behaviors.


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AppleSeed for IT has two documents, the “macOS 13 beta 1 Release Notes” and “What’s new for Enterprise and Education” which also full of useful information for Apple Admins, only some of which was covered in the sessions relevant for admins. (Which I list below.)

Lots to process and test. There will be much feedback to file. Spin up those test devices and VMs!

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News and Opinion

macOS Ventura and iOS 16

Reactions

Interesting WWDC Sessions for Admins

macOS and iOS Updates

Social Media

  • Mr. Macintosh: “macOS Ventura hardware support MASSACRE! ☠️ Dropped Mac Hardware: 2015-2016 MacBook Pro, 2015-2017 MacBook Air, 2016 12″ MacBook, 2014 Mac mini, 2013 Mac Pro, 2015 iMac”
  • mikeymikey: “Crucial design considerations for macOS apps with regards to LaunchDaemons, LaunchAgents, and LoginItems. New APIs, design recommendations, and more with macOS Ventura
  • Mr. Macintosh: “Confirmed by @khronokernel on March 8th Apple is following a new Model ID format: DeviceID – Model ID – Description (Product ID); J413AP = Mac14,2 – MacBook Air (M2, 2022); J493AP = Mac14,7 – MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022)” (All new Macs now get a Model ID of MacXX,Y.)
  • Bart Reardon: “Two sides of #WWDC22 : Developers: ‘Shiny!’ Admins: ‘WTF DID YOU BREAK'”
  • Rosyna Keller: “Main new news is that notarization submissions via altool and via the app distribution workflow for non-Mac App Store apps in Xcode 13.x and earlier are deprecated (and slower) and are walking into the sunset in Fall of 2023” (Thread)
  • John C. Welch: “I honestly think custom, complex, customer created workflows that aren’t created by devs for devs is going to be dead in the Apple world outside of companies like MS and Adobe that can just build that into their apps. Like in two years.” (Thread)
  • mikeymikey: “There are important implementation changes with macOS 13 with regards to underlying components used routinely in non-consumer managed environments, such as SMB and SCEP For details regarding this, please sign in with AppleSeed for IT and read the IT macOS 13 Beta 1 Release Notes”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-06-03

Scheduling my vacation right before WWDC resulted in a big summary. Lots of interesting links that should keep you distracted until the keynote on Monday.


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WWDC is not the only conference that is imminent. The MacAdmins Campfire Sessions have started this week and will continue for the next few weeks!

You may have noticed this newsletter was not sent out at the usual time. I am still traveling and in different time zones. Next week, I should be back in the normal rhythm, jet lag permitting. And we will have all the news from WWDC. Until then!

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News and Opinion

macOS and iOS Updates

Social Media

  • Rosyna Keller: “When creating a zip file for submission to the notarization service, make sure to use the ditto command line tool, the Finder, or Archive Utility to create the zip file. The zip command line tool is unfriendly to macOS metadata (especially detached code signatures).”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2022-05-13

Last week I mentioned that Apple often releases a few things before WWDC, because they don’t fit in the keynote. I should have been careful what I wished for: the iPod touch — the last remnant of the iPod line — is being discontinued.


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Like the discontinuation of macOS Server, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The main iPod line was discontinued in 2017. I wrote an article then, and I think it still holds up well.

The functionality of the iPod has been assimilated by the iPhone, Apple Watch, HomePod, and AirPods, all of which can now play your Music nearly anywhere, anytime. The iPod may be gone, but the Music lives on.

The news summary will be taking a short vacation break. It will resume in three weeks, on “WWDC Eve”, June 3, with a summary of everything else that happens between now and then. Let’s hope Apple is done with canceling products.

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News and Opinion

Social Media

  • Jack Rhysider: “If you’re in IT, I highly encourage you to write a blog. Here are 17 reasons why you should be blogging.” (Thread, if you start a Mac IT blog, be sure to let me know!)
  • William Smith: “For Jamf admins, ensure your configuration profiles with the Exchange (macOS) and Exchange ActiveSync (iOS) payloads are set to ‘Use OAuth for authentication’ before the October 1st deadline.”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!