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Mac OS X 10.3.4 (#5): "Connect to Server" warning a security refinement; Resetting PMU can restore Bluetooth; more

Mac OS X 10.3.4 (#5): "Connect to Server" warning a security refinement; Resetting PMU can restore Bluetooth; more

"Connect to Server" warning actually a security refinement Continuing our coverage of an issue where Mac OS X 10.3.4's "Connect to Server" function delivers the error message 'Can't make a secure connection to YourServer. The server YourServer does not support secure connections via SSH. To connect with reduced security, click Continue,' MacFixIt reader Marcel Bresink says that the warning is actually an accurate warning that previous versions of Mac OS X lacked:

"If you enable the "Allow Secure Connections Using SSH" option on the client when connecting to an AFP file server, the client will ask the server whether it can offer a secure connection; if yes, the whole connection will be secured by encryption. This feature is known as "AFP over SSH" or "Encrypted Apple File Services".

"This server feature is NOT available for the Personal File Sharing service in the standard version of Mac OS X. By intention, Apple enables this feature EXCLUSIVELY on Mac OS X Server ONLY. (And it should be noted that file service encryption has nothing to do with password encryption; see below.)

"If you connect to an AFP file server with the "Allow Secure Connections" option enabled, but this file server does not offer encrypted services, previous versions of Mac OS X silently fell back to an unencrypted connection. This is not a bug (because it says "allow", not "enforce") but it could be seen as a security problem.

"With Mac OS X 10.3.4, the situation was improved: The client now truthfully warns when you are connecting to an unencrypted file service although you may have intended to form a secure connection.

"To really prove if the connection is encrypted or not, do a "netstat -n" on the command line after the connection was made. If you see an active entry to port 22 of the server, this will be "AFP over SSH", if the connection is made to port 548, it will be standard AFP.

Knowledge Base article #25758 has instructions for configuring AFP to use OpenSSH exclusively, and states "When these settings are in effect, if OpenSSH cannot establish a connection a 'bad password' dialog box appears. The most common cause of OpenSSH failure is when the host key for the server is unknown or is changed. Administrators should distribute and maintain the /etc/ssh_known_hosts files in accordance with best security practices. Without the /etc/ssh_known_hosts file, users will need to manage their own known_hosts file and pre-establish the correct server key.

Resetting PMU can restore Bluetooth connectivity Some users have been able to restore Bluetooth functionality lost after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update by resetting the PMU (power management unit).

Instructions for resetting the power management unit are contained in the following Knowledge Base documents:

Grant Symon was one of the readers that had success with this workaround: "The problem with a disappearing Bluetooth or DVD is actually a Power Manager problem. The solution to this in the past, used to be to depress the 'Reset' button, which for example on Powerbooks, used to be located on the back panel along with the sockets, however, on newer Macs there is no longer a reset button. Instead there is now a keyboard manipulation at startup. Here's how to do it :

"Turn off your Mac ... disconnect all peripherals from it, then, whilst holding down the Shift-Ctrl-Alt/Option keys, press and hold the 'Startup' button (the one you use to start your machine). Continue to hold all these keys down for 5 or 6 seconds. Release all the keys then start up your Mac as normal using the Startup button."

Still more on fan speed, loudness Continuing coverage of increased fan speed or loudness after the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update (some users are experiencing decreased fan/heat activity), Zach Bragin - one of the MacFixIt readers who initially reported louder fans and a much hotter PowerBook underside, found a mixture of procedures resumed fan speed and heat consistent with levels prior to the update.

"After forcing prebindings with Cocktail, trashing the finder preferences, and zapping the PRAM, heat and fan speed is back to normal."

Meanwhile, we've received more confirmation for increased fan activity in desktop Macs. MacFixIt reader Bill writes "Yes, for the first time since buying my (now old) 15" 800 MHz iMac flat panel I am hearing a loud fan. Very annoying as its quiet operation was a feature which prompted my purchase. "

Safari problems Several users are experiencing a problem in Safari where after the update to Mac OS X 10.3.4, contextual menus show "localized string not found" in place of "open link in new window".

Some have been able to remove the problem by re-installing the Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo updater, but others have not.

MacFixIt reader Lynn Strauss writes "I personally am having this problem on two differently configured macs (using english not german) . I have re-installed both updates as well a fixing permissions and junking all my Safari application and prefs before hand, and the problem persists."

Meanwhile, we continue to receive reports of banking Web site problems in Safari after application of the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update. One reader writes "After the 10.3.4 update I get a warning from Capitalone.com that I can no longer access my accounts

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

Resources
  • #25758
  • PowerBooks and iBooks
  • Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics...
  • Power Macintosh G4 (PCI Gr...
  • Cocktail
  • zapping the PRAM
  • Mac OS X 10.3.4 combo upda...
  • Late-breakers@macfixit.com
  • More from Late-Breakers