Apple’s macOS Catalina: LibreOffice customers nonetheless get ‘scary’ malware messages


MacOS Catalina 10.15: Bugs and safety updates
Arbitrary code execution and reminiscence vulnerabilities might impression Mac machines.

Customers of open-source workplace productiveness software program LibreOffice report operating into overly alarming safety warnings when putting in the app on the not too long ago launched macOS 10.15 Catalina. 

Apple warned macOS builders in June that each one Mac apps which can be signed with a Developer ID would additionally have to be ‘notarized’ by Apple. Apple promised this could allow a “extra streamlined Gatekeeper interface” when customers obtain macOS apps from the net. 

Apple’s notary service scans apps for malware for builders who distribute apps exterior Apple’s App Retailer. The notarization can forestall circumstances the place an attacker has compromised one other developer’s Developer ID signing certificates to signal and distribute macOS malware.

In the course of the public beta for macOS Catalina some LibreOffice customers seen that Apple’s GateKeeper warnings had the potential to scare customers off. “‘’ cannot be opened as a result of its integrity can’t be verified,” the alert reads with two choices: Transfer to Bin or Cancel. 

Whereas LibreOffice model 6.2 was not notarized, the most recent 6.three model apparently has been. Nevertheless, customers are nonetheless getting the GateKeeper alert with the extra warning that “macOS can’t confirm that’s app is free from malware”, in accordance with LibreOffice. 

“Though we’ve got duly adopted the directions, when customers launch LibreOffice 6.three.x – which has been notarized by Apple – the system exhibits the next scary message: ‘ can’t be opened as a result of the developer can’t be verified’, and gives solely two choices: Transfer to Bin (delete) and Cancel (revert the operation, ie, don’t run LibreOffice),” writes LibreOffice’s Italo Vignoli. 

To bypass the message, LibreOffice recommends person right-click the mouse on the LibreOffice icon. Then macOS Catalina will present a much less alarming message: “macOS can’t confirm the developer of Are you positive you wish to open it?”.    

The opposite solution to resolve the problem is to click on Cancel on the primary alert, after which open System Preferences > Safety & Privateness after which click on on the Open Anyway button subsequent to the message that the “App was blocked as a result of it isn’t from an recognized developer”.

In 2018 the Doc Basis, the non-profit behind the free workplace suite, estimated there have been 200 million lively LibreOffice customers worldwide.   

As for Apple’s notarization, app developer Jeff Johnson not too long ago defined that the important thing safety profit comes from the requirement that builders use their Apple ID and password for his or her developer account to submit the app to Apple for notarization.

In different phrases, an attacker would want to compromise each a signing certificates and the developer’s Apple ID to distribute the malware. The additional safety right here comes from Apple’s latest requirement that each one developer accounts have two-factor authentication enabled.    


Some LibreOffice customers assume the macOS message may put some individuals off utilizing the open-source workplace suite. 

Picture: LibreOffice