Espionage 2.8.3 Released!

Espionage 2.8.3 is a minor point update with some significant changes:

  • NEW: Converted EspionageHelper to launchd agent, resulting in improvements to:
    • Improved security for non-enrypted folders (which are still obviously insecure)
    • Removes startup errors associated with Apple’s buggy Login Items code
    • Crash recovery
  • NEW: iPhoto application template
  • IMPROVED: Notification regarding moving or renaming unlocked encrypted folders.
  • IMPROVED: Updated iCal template to reflect changes by Apple
  • FIXED: Check to prevent encryption of Library folder
  • FIXED: Rare situation where incorrect applications would be suggested as associations for a folder
  • FIXED: SmartMove did not update app associations
  • FIXED: Unnecessarily re-prompted for master password when stopping helper from preferences

Good-bye Login Items, Hello launchd

Up until this version, Espionage used OS X’s login items facility to start its helper program, which runs in the background and is responsible for bringing up the password prompt, unlocking folders, etc.

We chose this method because it was the only reliable way to have a program start at login on both Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.4 (Tiger). It turned out, however, that Espionage was not compatible with 10.4 for various technical reasons, and we also noticed that in some rare cases, Apple’s code for putting something on the list of login items would break or flake out, so we’ve been eager to make the switch to what are called launchd agents, available in 10.5 and later, which act as super-powered login items.

Now, if Espionage’s helper crashes or is forcibly quit by the user incorrectly, it will immediately relaunch. This property enhances the “security” of unencrypted, password protected folders (which, don’t kid yourself, are still very much insecure, and are only useful for protecting relatively unimportant data from luddites).

There are other small benefits to switching to the agent system (and I won’t go into all of them), but needless to say, 2.8.3 is a rather significant update for a minor-point release, so updating to it is highly recommended!

Enjoy! 😀

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