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Old May 15th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #1
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Talking Widget Security - from a Widget!

Hi Friends
This from the Mac Daily News Widget:

Freeware 'Widget, The World Watcher' guards against 'malicious' Dashboard widgets

Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 10:32 AM EST

Widget, The World Watcher 1.0, by developer Zack Schilling, is not only a campy, eco-cartoon from the early 90s, but also a little utility that allows you to keep Safari's automatic file opening enabled without worrying about "evil" widgets installing themselves.

If a widget is being installed, a dialog will pop up asking if you wanted to install it. You'll have the options of allowing the installation, deleting the widget, or having it dropped on your desktop for later.

Widget, The World Watcher 1.0 is free (44k). More info and download link here:
http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/18039

MacDailyNews Note: We should be seeing similar functionality built into Mac OS X 10.4.1 due at any moment from Apple.

The MacDailyNews Dashboard Widget—which grabs the latest news, information and reviews from the MacDailyNews RSS feed— in its first week, has been downloaded 6,057 times from DashboardWidgets.com and no telling how many times from Apple.com's Mac OS X Dashboard Widgets Downloads page. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded it. If you haven't grabbed it yet, now's your chance!

Salut - SM
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Old May 15th, 2005, 02:49 AM   #2
 
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Isn't this sort of a catch-22?

Oh well, they had me at stopping evil widgets, thanks for the link
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:16 AM   #3
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heh, wow.. not only was that fast, that's a great little widget.. beat Apple to the punch.. of course, I'm sure Apple will release an update soon that'll patch that up anyway..
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:32 AM   #4
 
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There wouldn't be this problem if people would just learn to tell safari to not open the files once it's done downloading them :/
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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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Even though I haven't moved over to Tiger yet, I've been reading about it and this Dashboard Widget thing has me intrigued. It has been my practice to direct all downloads to a Downloads folder on my desktop where Virex 7.2 immediately checks it. I've taken a lot of ribbing about doing this, but I've always figured if something nasty was suddenly ported to the Mac side, I might be ahead of the game and save myself from a catastrophe.

I like the idea of "The World Widget Watcher" confirming whether a user wants to download and install a widget or save it to the desktop for later. My question is, how does one check to find out if a widget is safe to use?

In other words, what's the point of stopping an automatic install to save to the desktop to install later?

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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #6
 
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Doesnt virex check the availability of windows viruses on ur files?
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Old May 15th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by i stole this name
Doesnt virex check the availability of windows viruses on ur files?
My understanding is that it does. However, I read somewhere that Virex doesn't work with Tiger. Not sure if it is true or not. If it works, I will plan to continue my practice of downloading to my Downloads folder and then having Virex check the file.

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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:28 PM   #8
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Don't install Virex with Tiger... it will run but will not stop running in the background and Activity monitor will show that a system file is running 70% of your cycles. The file if I remember correctly was called VShield.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
There wouldn't be this problem if people would just learn to tell safari to not open the files once it's done downloading them :/
or use firefox. it's a faster/better browser than safari anyway (and not as ugly).
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Old May 15th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutMaskReplica
or use firefox. it's a faster/better browser than safari anyway (and not as ugly).
Still really no answer to my question:

"How does one check to find out if a widget is safe to use?

In other words, what's the point of stopping an automatic install to save to the desktop to install later?"

If you choose to install it later without some check to see whether the widget is malicious, you'd still potentially have a problem. Or is the idea that a widget that automatically tries to install itself is malicious and should therefor be diverted to the desktop to be deleted immediately?

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