Newsletter # 33 - Set up a macOS Parallels Virtual Machine for security research Nov 18 2020

Hello, and welcome to issue #33!

It has been some time since the last issue of the newsletter, but here we are again. A lot of new and exciting things have been going on around the Tech world. For example, the release of Apple's M1 Chip, and all the positive reviews. It's a shame that I won't be buying one just now. I had an emergency and had to get a new computer a couple of months back, so I'll have to wait a little bit longer.

Technology seems always to be moving so fast. It is hard to keep up with everything. This week also was the first fully-operational flight of SpaceX for NASA. You can view the video at I hope I can live long enough to see the human race transformed into something out of a science fiction story (utopian not dystopian :D).

In more mundane news, I was part of the Back to the Mac Conference you can see my talk here:

Understanding macOS application bundles by building an agent-based app

It is based on my article Understanding a few concepts of macOS applications by building an agent-based (menu bar) app. I hope you like it.

Also, this week I posted a new article on the website:

Set up a macOS Parallels Virtual Machine for security research

It is not only for security research, but you might also want to have this setup to develop macOS System Extensions, e.g. using the Security Endpoint Framework. It is also useful when debugging applications where you'll like to use Dtrace to get information on what is going on. Have a look and let me know if it was helpful.

Because of COVID, it has been challenging to get to talk to other people. So I decided to embark in an experiment. I created a Discord server for the site. For me, social media is complicated, I don't feel entirely comfortable using Twitter or any other social media, but I do crave for a community. It would be fun to have a community of people to talk to and discuss books, ideas, games, or simply talk about shared interests. I was going to create an IRC channel, but many people don't like IRC and find it "confusing" so I thought I might give Discord a chance. The server is new, so don't be alarmed if it is only you and me in the Discord server at the moment. Hopefully, it'll grow. Anyhow, if you want to say hi, I'll be there.

Raft community

Fun fact: a group of otters is called a Raft. And otters are smart, tool-using animals so why not.

Recommendations and interesting topics

I've recommended The history of computing podcast, this time I would like to recommend the latest episode:

From Antiquity to Bitcoin: A Brief History of Currency, Banking, and Finance

Charles gives a fun and easy to comprehend summary about the history of finance. I think you'll enjoy it.

Another recommendation this week is this post on deprecating scp. I've used scp for decades, so it is an interesting read that shows some of the flaws of the initial design. I hope we see a worthy replacement in the future.

And finally, the last recommendation of this issue is the following post by Ivan Rodriguez:

Why embedding secrets in mobile apps is not a good idea

Have a look. There are some interesting insights and some alternatives on how to handle the requirement of secrets.

Ok, that's it for this week. Until next time,


Tip of the week

Have you ever wondered when was it that you installed an update on your computer running macOS? Or when was it that you installed an Application? Well, let me tell you how to do it:

  1. Click the apple icon in your menu bar (or open System Information using Spotlight and jump to step 3)
  2. Select "About This Mac"
  3. Click on "System Report"
  4. Scroll down to "Software"
  5. Select "Installations"

And you'll be able to see a history of the installations that had happened on your system.

** If you want to check what else I'm currently doing, be sure to follow me on twitter @rderik or subscribe to the newsletter. If you want to send me a direct message, you can send it to