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November 25, 2014

Santa tool tells naughty files from nice ones

Unofficial releases from Google Mac team available immediately from Github.

By Jimmy Nicholls

As the high streets are adorned with festive baubles, Google’s Macintosh Operations Team has put together a present for security-conscious Apple users.

Santa, so named because it can tell whether executable binaries are naughty or nice, is an unofficial whitelisting and blacklisting tool directed at Mac OS X, available for immediate download on the code repository Github.

The package consists of a monitoring system to check and make decisions against executables, as well as graphic interface and a command line for more savvy users.

"Santa is not yet a 1.0," the Macintosh team said. "We’re writing more tests, fixing bugs, working on TODOs and finishing up a security audit.

Currently the software does not analyse executables that aren’t binary files such as temporary scripts, as the team feels the cost to administrators would be too great, but it has offered to revisit this if enough interest is shown from Mac OS X users.

At present the program lacks documentation, and has yet to undergo extensive testing, but the developers are happy to field patches and contributions from others.

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