Show & Verify Code Signatures for Apps on Mac OS

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Code-signed applications allow security-conscious users to verify the creator and hash of a particular app to help confirm that it has not been corrupted or tampered with. This is rarely necessary for average Mac users, especially those who get their software from the Mac App Store or other trusted sources, as the apps are certified, but verifying an app’s digital signature can be very helpful for users who get third-party apps. sources.

Verifying a code signature is especially important for those getting software and installers from p2p and distributed sources, perhaps a torrent site or newsgroups, IRC, public ftp or some other network source. For a practical example, let’s say that a user cannot access the Mac App Store for some reason, but needs to download an OS X installer and thus relies on an outside source. Such a situation is when it is important to know and verify that the installer has not been tampered with and that it is legitimately from Apple, and aside from checking sha1 hash directly, the easiest way to do that is to do checking the code signature and cryptographic hash of the respective app.

To get started, launch Terminal, located in / Applications / Utilities /. We will use the aptly named ‘codesign’ command complete with the -dv and –verbose = 4 flags to show identifying information about each application, including its hash type, hash checksum and signing authority.

The basic syntax is as follows:

code character -dv –verbose = 4 /Path/To/Application.app

For example, let’s check the signature on Terminal.app, found in / Applications / Utilities /

codesign -dv –verbose = 4 /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.appExecutable=/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app/Contents/MacOS/TerminalIdentifier=com.apple.TerminalFormat= Bundle with Mach-O thin (x86_64) CodeDirectory v = 20100 size = 5227 flags = 0x0 (none) hashes = 255 + 3 location = embeddedPlatform identifier = 1 Hash type = sha1 size = 20CDHash = 0941049019f9fa3499333fb5b52b53735b498aed6cde6a23 Signature size = 4105Authority SigningAuthorityAuthority Software SigningAuthority = AppleAuthorityAuthorityAuthority SoftwareAuthority set = AppleAuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthority 2 lines = 13 files = 996 Number of internal requirements = 1 size = 68

What you are looking for are the hash type, hash, and permission entries. In this case, the hash type is sha1 and the signing authority is Apple, which you would expect.

Yes, you can also use the command line to just check sha1 or md5 hashes of installers and application downloads and compare them to a legitimate source, but that won’t reveal the code signing and certificate details.

Note that most code-signed software modified by an unauthorized party will be rejected by Gatekeeper in OS X unless Gatekeeper is disabled or otherwise bypassed, but even with Gatekeeper enabled it is theoretically possible for a enterprising dude to get one around it, and of course software that isn’t certified by an identified developer can always be launched around Gatekeeper anyway.

You can read more about code signing on Wikipedia and the Apple Developer guide to sign code here.

How code signing works through Apple

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the How to Show & Verify Code Signatures for Apps in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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