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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2006
    Georgia, USA
    c. 2003 PowerMac G5 1.6 GHz; 3GB RAM; NVIDIA FX 5200 Ultra w/Apple 20" Display
    SyndiactionAgent Spies
    Hey gang. . .

    Didja know that in Apple OSX v10.4 an app named SyndicationAgent that runs under (no-RW-access) System control in the System folder, spies on the user's every move?

    I run the excellent Intego NetBarrier firewall and have SyndicationAgent blocked by it from accessing WAN, along with a passel of other apps. The only other app that tries to tunnel out (like the mole it is) is DashboardClient, and It's nowhere near as bad as SyndicationAgent.

    I've set NetBarrier's controls to alert me both via Bezel Window popups and audio warnings whenever an app tries to call home. Sometimes the popups generated by SyndicationAgent's antics get so annoying that I turn the Bezel Window off.

    Any Reagan Republicrats in this forum? . . . Read_my_lips: SyndicationAgent is spyware! It will frequently (although not always) try to access http port 80 when the user:

    Loads Mac Mail, the onboard email client in OSX
    Loads a frame at any webmail drop
    Accesses any Internet website

    No legitimate application should do this. Apple has regressed since 10.3 Panther to a Microsoft-like business model and personally, I'm very put out with Steve Jobs and the Apple Board for this deep-pockets betrayal.

    25 years of unca Billy's parasite, CommonName was bad enough. . . without Apple now picking up the malware ball and running with it.

    There's not much a non-coder can do to block apps in OSX without installing either a competent web filter or a firewall that offers the user full control over applications. I know of no way to script a loopback for OUTGOING packets.

    LittleSnitch is a possibility, but I can't vouch for it because I don't need it with NetBarrier on the job.

    There are several good OSX firewalls on the market that are capable of filtering apps; but NetBarrier is the only one that I have experience with. It ain't cheap. . . but like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

    Remember: Those of us on hi-speed pipes–––even if you have a good quality parameter defense unit; router; firewall, etc., AND have the Apple firewall turned on with all UDP blocked and set to Stealth Mode–––that has NOTHING to do with OUTGOING packets.

    A hardware appliance cannot prevent apps from calling home, unless you subscribe to some type of web filtering service OR use a special hardware filter to screen outgoing packets.

    Apps MUST be controlled from WITHIN THE OS.

    . . . Just a word to the wise. Forewarned is forearmed.


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Jul 05, 2007
    WOW -- According to the information I was able to gleen from Google, SyndicationAgent is to keep RSS feeds up-to-date. Paranoid much?

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