SIP-Protected Apps In MacOS

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Dec 6, 2023, 5:46:02 AM12/6/23
to liquid-galaxy

/usr is protected with the exception of /usr/local subdirectory. /Applications is protected for apps that are pre-installed with Mac OS, such as Calendar, Photos, Safari, Terminal, Console, App Store, and Notes.[13]

SIP-Protected Apps In macOS


I was experimenting how strong SIP is on Sierra. So I tried To delete using app cleaner but I can remove the contents then when I empty the trash it empties it. Then I open terminal App it works Fine.So is SIP that strong that you can't remove an OS X app using third Party apps?Is the only way to remove SIP protected apps using rm command?

The exceptions to the rule are apps or processes that have been signed by Apple and have a special entitlement to write to system files. This includes Apple installers and Apple software update services.

SIP in macOS Mojave
Apple includes a number of new security-related upgrades in Mojave, but for SIP the big change is that it was extended to cover third-party apps and not just those supplied by Apple. This should protect third-party apps from being tampered with, having code injected, or having processes attached to them, all common techniques for gaining control of an app or its services.

For the most part, these app-specific issues were a problem when El Capitan rolled out and are far less of an issue now that developers have had time to work through the issues and create new ways for their apps to work with SIP restrictions.

One last note: Future updates of the Mac operating system may restore system files and locations to the state expected by Apple, causing non-SIP-complaint apps to be marked as unsupported and possibly removed by a system update.

Thanks for the info. I had to disable SIP in order to be able to restart Bonjour (turn off then on) which finally fixed my long standing problem with LAN printing. Interestingly, even after SIP being disabled, and being logged in as root, I could not remove apps like News or Stocks (but I could delete all package contents which does not make much sense to me).

This problem cannot be remediated through traditional automation with tools like an MDM. You need to be able to stop devices that fail this check form authenticating to your SaaS apps and then give end-users precise instructions on how to unblock their device.

Ever noticed just how many default Apple apps there are on your Mac? Our Macs come with an array of pre-installed applications that allow us to get up and running pretty quickly when we first unbox our new devices.

Many of these apps are essential and cover everything from web browsing to emails, photo management, and everything in between. However, not all of them are entirely useful or wanted, leaving many Mac users wondering can the default apps be deleted?

If you have already tried to uninstall one of Apple's default apps, you've probably already discovered it's not that simple. We'll talk you through why Apple's applications are protected and what you can do to uninstall them.

Before you start removing default apps, ensure this is 100% what you want to do. Once default apps are removed, it is not always easy to reinstall them, and in some cases, it has been reported that the removal of certain apps can cause issues with macOS updates.

If you want to remove unused apps because you don't want them taking up space, it's worth considering that if not used, they don't accumulate caches meaning, they don't take up too much space on your hard drive.

Without the proper guidance, you might run into trouble if you start deleting important application files or folders in your quest to remove default apps, which could cause other apps to stop working. If that happens, you'll need to reset them to factory settings. Jump to the next step, and I'll show you how.

Many of Apple's built-in apps are protected by SIP. To uninstall these applications, we'll first need to disable the SIP protection through Terminal; this is a three-step process that requires some patience, so let's start at the very beginning.

Well, here we are; we've reached the end. Hopefully, you're no longer wonding, "how do I delete an app on my Mac?" as we've covered everything from System Integrity Protection and how to remove Apple apps via Terminal.

In the few years since SIP was introduced, developers and users alike have adjusted to the lockdown of certain system components. Many developers rewrote apps from the ground up to work alongside SIP. Lots more have since launched that already accommodate Apple's restrictions.

All apps in the Mac App Store must work with SIP in order to gain Apple's approval. The vast majority of third-party apps work just fine too. There are a few exceptions like Winclone, which still requires the disabling (and then re-enabling) of SIP in order to perform its function as a Boot Camp cloning tool.

While there are plenty of small handy Mac tweaks for fixing just about everything still available, deep system tweaks are mostly no longer viable. For example, theming apps designed to change the colors, look, and feel of Finder relied on code injection, which you can't do anymore. These apps are no longer viable without building something new from scratch.

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a security feature of macOS designed to make it even more difficult for malware to access important system files, keeping them safe from unwanted modifications. In the early days of SIP, some developers ran into problems when the system would keep core functionality of their apps from working properly because those apps made changes to the way the operating system worked by editing the system files that SIP was now in place to protect.

Because of this, many developers (and some users) would disable SIP to let their apps work properly. Now, several years on, this is less necessary as most apps have found ways to do what they need to do without the need to disable SIP, allowing your Mac to stay more secure.

System Integrity Protection is an essential security component in macOS that protects the system from malicious apps and inappropriate code execution. It was introduced into macOS in 2015 with the purpose of strengthening the operating system's security. It was indeed a great addition to the macOS, but not for developers. This is due to SIP Mac becoming a hurdle for developers because they can't install and test code to determine whether the software is compatible. Due to this, they need to disable the SIP Mac repeatedly to avoid problems during the testing phase. If you're also facing issues testing code on your Mac, we suggest disabling the SIP Mac to see if it works. Here in this article, we've mentioned the steps to enable/disable SIP on your Mac. With that being said, let's move ahead.

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a security technology in macOS that protects the system from malicious apps and unauthorized execution of code. It was brought to macOS to prevent third-party software from modifying system files and folders. SIP scans all the apps we download from the Apple App Store and ensure they're malware free and safe in every aspect. Besides this, it also validates that the apps developers create and distribute directly to the users are safe and secure.

Before System Integrity Protection, there were no specific rules about modifying system-protected files. Earlier, users were free to change the system-protected files and folders. It was easier for apps to gain root-level system access by asking for the admin name and password. Also, the programs were allowed to modify or overwrite without any restrictions. But, this has now become difficult with SIP. It doesn't allow the root user to perform some actions on protected parts of your Mac system.

SIP allows Apple processes and services to modify and overwrite integral system files and folders. Only a few processes get permission to change these system files. Apple software updates and Apple installers are the ones that get access to alter these files when needed. Most importantly, all the apps we download from the Apple App Store already work with SIP.

Use the firewall to control connections per-application, rather than per-port. Using per-application settings makes it easier to get the benefits of firewall protection. It also helps prevent undesirable apps from taking control of network ports that are open for legitimate apps.

To prevent the computer from responding to probing requests, enable stealth mode. The device continues to answer incoming requests for authorized apps. Unexpected requests, such as ICMP (ping), are ignored.

On my system, the SIP protected apps are the standard Apple-installed apps:
App Store, Automator, Books, Calculator, Calendar, Chess, Contacts, Dictionary, FaceTime, FindMy, Font Book, Home, Image Capture, Launchpad, Mail, Maps, Messages, Mission Control, Music, News, Notes, Photo Booth, Photos, Podcasts, Preview, QuickTime Player, Reminders, Siri, Stickies, Stocks, System Preferences, TV, TextEdit, Time Machine & VoiceMemos

This ultimately means that if we can inject code to an application, we can gain its rights. This is why process injection capabilities are very tightly controlled on macOS. Apple does a good job on protecting their own apps.

Unfortunately third party apps are not in a very good shape. This opens up the road for plenty of XPC vulnerabilities, which will typically allow users to escalate their privileges to root. TCC bypasses are also common, which will allow users to access sensitive locations. (e.g.: LPE in Microsoft AutoUpdate or TCC bypass with Zoom)

The following one is specific to Electron apps. Typically someone can use --inspect, --inspect-brk and --remote-debugging-port command line argument to start an Electron app in debugging mode, and thus inject code to it. Here I simply check if this argument is present and if yes, the app will be blocked.

A little bit earlier, there are many third-party apps that require you to disable SIP. Their purpose is to take control of your Mac and change the way the OS works by default to run their self-designed drivers. These apps are usually designed with unadvanced techniques. And some of them may carry viruses.

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