Webpage “Not Secure” using Safari on Apple Devices

Recently, I received an email from a user stating that they are noticing almost all websites they visit show as being “Not Secure”.  This is a result of the recently released iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 updates with the main objective being that users will be aware of the security of the websites they’re visiting and should not be mistaken for actually BEING more secure.

According to 9to5Mac as to when you can anticipate seeing this prompt:

All the big sites have already moved over to universal HTTPS, so you shouldn’t see Not Secure warnings that often…

However, older sites, unmaintained sites, or sites run by smaller companies, may not have made the switch. This is when you will see the Not Secure text in the main Safari toolbar.

Check out the full article here for more details!

More keyboard problems for MacBooks!

Henry Casey from LaptopMag.com is reporting here that Apple is aware that their new keyboards being used on various MacBook models is experiencing issues that have affected “a small number of users” and has apologized for this.

My takeaway from this…another year, another keyboard issue that Apple can’t seem to rid itself of.  I was listening to a SiriusXM interview discussing all things finance and Apple came up.  The guest, Barry Ritholtz, cut to the chase and said that the innovation when it comes to their laptops is severely lacking and part of that is due to these strange keyboard issues.  I don’t know what the answer is since I’m clueless as to what the hell goes on in their HQ but it’s been four years running that they have been dealing with this.

I also agree with Barry that it may be time to admit that Apple’s creativity and “out of the box” thinking may have died with Steve Jobs.  As an occasional Apple end user and avid repair tech, I remember the days where there was genuine excitement at the unveiling of any new Apple products; it is safe to say that the enthusiasm has waned and may even be getting worse.

Here’s to hoping that Apple pulls it together somehow, someway…

SCEP for Mac is back?

On the security front, Microsoft has announced a few changes including enhancements and renaming of a key product.  Formerly known as “Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection”, it will now be referred to as “Microsoft Defender ATP”.

The main reason for this leads back to the title of this post; this new product will have the ability to support Mac clients along with Windows PCs.  As you may recall, the formerly known as “System Center Endpoint Protection” for Macs was decommissioned effective December 31, 2018 leaving users without a Microsoft supported antivirus solution.

In a perfect world for SCCM admins like myself, having an endpoint solution supporting Windows and macOS all while being managed from within the console would be ideal.  I know they are in the testing stages of the software but if they wanted to pay it smart, they should work hard towards achieving this.  Read more about it here.

Update 04/01/2019: Although I stated in the original post that SCEP for Mac has been decommissioned, you can still install the program (assuming you still have the download .dmg file) and receive the latest definitions but remember that Microsoft can halt this without warning at any time.

Macs being attacked by Windows Malware (!?)

Yes, the headline is correct!  See Paul Wagenseil’s article here in LaptopMag for the full scoop…

In summarizing the developments…

 The Windows malware comes hidden in pirated copies of popular Mac shareware programs found on torrent sites. It uses a widely available software-compatibility framework to run on Macs, then gathers system information and tries to install more Mac malware and adware. The Windows malware has already infected Macs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries.

I have to say I didn’t envision this one happening but the more I think about it, I shouldn’t be surprised!

Looking for a replacement for an Apple router?

As you may already know, Apple has already announced that they have discontinued their consumer networking lineup of AirPort Extreme routers and access points.  One of the great benefits to having an “all-Apple” networking setup was the fact that you could setup all of your devices to form one big network, similar to what mesh networks do today.

For those looking to upgrade, there are many choices but I was surprised to find an article from Appleinsider.com stating that despite the fact that Synology is more well known for their NAS devices, they highly recommend a router that they recently release and even tout it as “the best AirPort replacement we’ve found yet”.

Click here to read the full article…if you disagree with the assessment, what you do have / recommend for your environment?

macOS Server Phase Out

There has been consensus for some time that macOS Server has taken a back seat in the grand scheme of things and since then Apple released a guide at the beginning of summer designed to assist those to move key roles off of it as its only a matter of time before it is discontinued.  I remember days when there was an actual Apple Server OS which then turned into a Server app that can be installed on top of a macOS client OS and now that will be going away.  Here’s a link to the guide…check it out!

macOS-Server-Service-Migration-Guide

October 30th Apple Event Recap

 

As expected, Apple introduced new iPad Pros that are indeed very impressive but as an avid Mac user, I was pleased to see significant upgrades for the MacBook Air and especially the Mac Mini (my personal favorite!).  For years I have loved its design and versatility along with the ability to upgrade the RAM and hard drive (except for the 2014 model Ugh!).  Personally, I took it a step further and added two SSD drives to go with 16GB of RAM on my late 2012 i7 model which I still use plenty to this day.  I was so obsessed with getting the most of the my Mini that when 16GB DDR3 SODIMMs hit the marketplace, I wrote Apple numerous times asking that they release a firmware update that will allow for 32GB of RAM to be used especially since the Intel i7 CPU supports it.  I had lost all hope when I started seeing article after article saying that they may discontinue it but was ecstatic when this years rumors were confirmed true in that it would be getting a refresh in a big way!  I’m also happy that Apple is embracing what many people were using it for in that not only is it a good looking, space saving desktop, it also performs admirably as an home automation / multimedia file server!  Even though I do not have a pressing need for a new one, I will definitely direct those who are looking to upgrade to consider the new Mini and in the meantime try to find justification to buy one for myself!  Who says Christmas can’t come sooner rather than later…

Upcoming Apple Event on October 30th

 

As you may know already, Apple will be taking their traditional October unveiling of refreshed iPads and Macs outside of their California confines and heading to Brooklyn, NY!  Besides the aforementioned new iPad, it will be interesting to see which Macs get updated and will we have any notable surprises…

I know this may sound crazy to most of you but I’m excited to see if the rumors about the Mac Mini getting a refresh for the first time in four years is in the making.  I’m currently in the market for a new desktop and would jump at the first opportunity to buy a “Pro” version of it if its really in the works.

What do you look forward to you most from this event…

Mojave has arrived…make sure to create your bootable USB drive now!

As expected, Apple has released their latest desktop OS (Mojave 10.14) to the masses.  Aside from setting up a new virtual machine that I use for testing the latest OSs, one of the next things I like to do is create my own bootable USB Flash Drive that I use to perform clean installs on other Macs with.

Here are the steps I followed which resulted in the successful creation of a bootable USB Flash Drive with Mojave ready to install:

Step 1: Format the USB Drive to be Bootable
This is going to format the drive so that it will be a bootable installer, without doing this the drive may not be bootable. If you don’t want to erase the drive, find one you don’t mind formatting instead.  Connect the USB drive to the Mac and launch Disk Utility, then select that USB drive from the left side drive list (be sure you select the USB drive you want to make the bootable installer from)  Click on the “Erase” tab and format the drive as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then choose “Erase” and confirm.  Next go to the “Partition” tab and under ‘Partition Layout’ click on the pulldown menu, changing it from “Current” to “1 Partition”.  Change the name to “Untitled” from ‘Untitled 1′ then click on the “Options” button.  Choose “GUID Partition Table” as the partition scheme and choose “OK”.  Click “Apply” and confirm the creation of the partition.  Quit out of Disk Utility when finished.  Now that the drive is ready, you can move on to making the actual installer.

Step 2: Making the macOS Mojave Installer Drive
The next step will actually make the installer drive from the previously formatted USB disk.  If you already have the macOS Mojave installer application in the /Applications/ folder on the Mac, you can skip directly to the “Terminal” part.  Download macOS Mojave from the Mac App Store.  DO NOT INSTALL IT!  When the download completes and the “Install macOS Mojave” app launches, quit out of it immediately then quit the installer.  Launch Terminal app and enter the following command exactly as shown below, copy and paste works fine:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/Untitled /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app –nointeraction

Enter the administrator password when requested (this is required to use the sudo command – the password will not show up and it looks as if you’re not entering anything, that is normal behavior for the command line), then hit the RETURN key to start making the installer.  You’ll see a series of message like the following, let it finish until you see the “Done” message – this may take a while as multiple GB of data have to be transferred:
“Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
Copying installer files to disk…
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable…
Copying boot files…
Copy complete.
Done.”

When finished and the terminal reads “Done”, exit out of Terminal, you’re ready to use the newly created bootable installer drive!  Good luck!