Apple introduces Developer ID
On Monday Apple sent out e-mails inviting developers to prepare their software for OS X Mountain Lion by joining the Developer ID program. The program will allow for apps to run on a Mac or iOS device that is protected by the Gatekeeper anti-malware system that requires that apps be certified through the Developer ID program to ensure seamless installation.
Gatekeeper is a new anti-malware feature that, according to Apple, will filter out malicious third-party applications and prevent OS X users from "unknowingly downloading and installing malicious software." To that end, the system implements a hierarchy of security that is based on digital certificates embedded in a software's code.
Gatekeeper will only allow the installation of content from the Mac App Store as well as third-party downloads from "identified developers" or those code writers who have signed up with the Digital ID program. Gatekeeper verifies digital signatures that are generated by the Developer ID program after Apple checks the validity of an app and can be inserted into a program's code with Xcode 4.3.
Mac OS X users will soon have the option of turning on Gatekeeper, a new Mac OS X security feature. When a user does this, the system provides an additional measure of safety: it blocks that user from opening newly-downloaded applications that are not Developer ID–signed. In this scenario, the same user is easily able to launch downloaded applications that are Developer ID–signed.
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