F-Secure Acquires Jonathan Zdziarski's Mac Security App 'Little Flocker'

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Cyber security company F-Secure has acquired Little Flocker, the behavioral analysis-based monitoring app for Macs, developed by iPhone forensics expert and security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, who joined Apple last month.

The Helsinki-based firm announced the news in a press release posted to its site, where it revealed that Little Flocker would be built into a new security product it's releasing, called XFENCE.


Little Flocker protects Macs by using advanced behavioral based analysis, and monitors apps that attempt to access confidential files and system resources. It also detects and blocks Mac ransomware. F-Secure will build Little Flocker's next-generation security engine into its new XFENCE technology. XFENCE will complement F-Secure's existing endpoint solutions to provide advanced behavioral Mac protection for both corporate and consumer customers.

F-Secure said that the "myth" of Macs not requiring protection against ransomware, backdoors, and other software was fading away, due to "Apple's popularity among senior-level employees and other high-value targets". By acquiring Little Flocker, it said it hoped to further enhance its products' existing cyber security capabilities for the sophisticated detection of zero-day attacks.

For businesses, the core technology is to be combined with F-Secure’s security cloud and packaged into its Protection Service for Business, a security solution with centrally managed computer, mobile and server security with integrated patch management and mobile device management. Consumer customers can make use of the Flocker technology with F-Secure Safe, the company's multi-device security product.

Little Flocker developer Zdziarski announced in March that he was joining Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture team. Known as "NerveGas" within the jailbreaking community, Zdziarski had provided input on a number of important iOS-related security matters over the years, including Apple's high-profile battle with the FBI over unlocking an iPhone used by a shooter in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago

I have this app. I'm amazed at what it picks up. For example, App Store wants to access my camera when it starts up, I'd like to know why!

The camera can be used to snap a photo of prepaid/gift card codes so that you don't have to enter a crazy long string of numbers manually. Lots of people pay for their App Store and iTunes purchases this way.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

I was unaware of that, do you have any links that detail this?

Thanks

You should check out a site called Mac rumors, they covered it...

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/06/mac-ransomware-transmission/
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

I like Zdziarski so I went to F-Secure and read about it. Sounds useful. Read up on their vpn-service Freedome as well. They offer a vpn-service to private persons and then they use technology to block protocols in their customers traffic. As a customer you will not know this unless your read their fine-print. And logging they do of course.

So from a Privacy-prespective F-Secure suck. I don't like them not being upfront with their vpn-service as well.

I'll scrutinise their EULA for XFence before I decide if it's interesting.
[doublepost=1491497352][/doublepost]

It's an honest question. Be nice :D

Hi, please read https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/legal/privacy/freedome-no-nav for more information about privacy with Freedome. Working at F-Secure, I can say that our company does care a LOT about privacy, and at least I do not consider us sucking so much in that sense :) We jump a few extra hoops to further anonymise the collected data.

Yes, you probably get even more privacy by using something like Tor, but Freedome is offering security as well. Related article here: https://www.opswat.com/blog/malware-spread-tor-exit-node
Without trying to advertise too much, there was also a university research recently (linked in the article), where Freedome was found to be amongst the better VPN clients for security: https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/01/majority-of-android-vpns-cant-be-trusted-to-make-users-more-secure/

Finally, Finland has pretty good privacy laws but like any country, the legislation still pose some requirements for providing these services.
[doublepost=1491810684][/doublepost]

I'm in the same boat. I'm guessing we early adopters get the shaft for supporting him at the beginning. As an Apple employee he pretty much has to wash his hands of the whole affair, and the new corporate overlords aren't going to give a **** about the few of us who knew about it before now.

Hello, one of the corporate overlords here, and giving a world about the few of you. No plans on shafting anyone ;) Instead we have been discussing about how to reach you early adopters to find a way for you to keep running and updating the product. Would love to hear from all of you and get valuable feedback in future too, so stay tuned.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

The long way to show hidden Mac OS X files is as follows:
[LIST=1]
* Open Terminal found in Finder > Applications > Utilities.
* In Terminal, paste the following: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES.
* Press return.
* Hold the 'Option/alt' key, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.

Well, that is indeed the long way of achieving it.
Try pressing CMD + SHIFT + . (dot) in the Finder.app. It toggles hidden files. Quicker and easier.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

Great to hear. Your stock went way up for actually being engaged with the community. I follow Mikko on Twitter, which is how I found out about the acquisition.

Honestly I'm sure the number of Jonathan's paying customers is so small that it might not be worth the effort. But I do appreciate that you at least know we exist. I don't actually think you owe us anything. With Jonathan going to Apple, the product was effectively dead anyway due to their IP and PR policies. I'm just glad the functionality is finding a home where the polish and ease of use can continue to improve for non-bleeding edge users.

Thanks :)

We will be contacting all of you existing LF customers via email hopefully still this week, based on the customer list we were provided. More information in the email, but basically you will have access to F-Secure XFENCE so no worries.
[doublepost=1491990536][/doublepost]

I actually had a reply from Jonathan and he assured me that f-secure would honour existing LF licences, so perhaps if they are watching this forum they could let us know exactly what we need to do ? unless of course he gave them our contact info from the purchase details ...

No need to do anything yet, we have the contact list and as mentioned above, will contact you soon :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

Indeed, Macs are not completely immune but so far we've had no ransomware out in the wild.

Um, Wut!?! To my knowledge there has been Mac Ransomeare. One of them was from downloading Transmission from the source!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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