For security and compatibility with the Catalina app, Apple has removed remotely and added files to MacOS.
Zoom Related Apps
Previously, we reported that Apple has removed a Zoom-installed Web server from MacOS for security reasons.
[Apple Releases Mac Update to Remove Zoom Web Server.]
Now we have learned, as our Charlotte Henry reports and The Verge are preparing, Apple has removed affiliate web servers from RingCentral and Zhumu apps.
These video conferencing apps both used technology from Zoom – they are mainly white labels – and thus they also had Zoo's security errors. In particular, they installed secondary pieces of software that could take commands from websites to open your webcam on a video conference without your intervention.
This is good news; Apple looks after us. My only complaint is that Apple, a company obsessed with alerts, has not found a graceful way to alert macOS users that their OS has been remotely modified by its creator. It is a challenge to be informative, but not alarming, but I think Apple can do it.
Compatibility Alert Data
On July 17, The Eclectic Light Company reported that Apple has recently installed the file remotely: CompatibilityNotificationData.bundle in:
/ System / Library / Coreservices /
Mine is dated July 3, 2019. The developer of eclectic light company explains:
Within this property list are dictionaries inside dictionaries that show apps that are not 64-bit and therefore will be incompatible with Catalina. Each is given a minimum and maximum version number, and can be assigned an app group ….
This bundle is obviously part of the preparations for migration to Catalina. The data can be used by the existing Legacy Software item in System Information, but it may also be necessary for another tool to be shipped with the 10.14.6 update due soon.
Again I just have a little heartburn about this. Especially since there are software tools that flag changes in the operating system. But as the argument above, to create openness and trust, Apple can think of a warning system specifically designed to alert the average user. It will avoid a situation where users discover a potentially alarming change from another source and become annoyed.
It will also help IT executives working with Macs that are often offline, such as ships at sea or those taken in SCIF. That is, if they have not been formally informed otherwise.
I expect to see more of these silent MacOS changes from Apple as security threats evolve. (As the XProtect system has been in use for many years.) Until Apple decides to keep users informed, we just need to discover these changes among ourselves.