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Fear not, the PubSub Agent

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:37 AM

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#2 User is offline   snej 

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:17 AM

Automatically clicking "Allow" whenever a security alert comes up is a bad idea, regardless of the odds. Doing so defeats its purpose. If/when a truly nasty trojan or virus for Mac OS X appears, it's likely to trigger this kind of warning. Are you going to wait until after large numbers of users are infected before downgrading your odds?
Here's a better answer to the original question: Whenever one of those keychain alerts comes up for an app you don't recognize, flip open the "Info" section and click on the pop-up to see where on disk the application is. If it's in the "System" folder of your startup disk (as PubSubAgent is) then it's a core component of the OS and you can allow it.
(On 10.5 these sorts of alerts aren't supposed to come up at all for system apps, because they've already been code-signed by Apple; but I've seen it happen occasionally anyway.)
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#3 User is offline   NaOH 

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 11:42 AM

I'd most definitely agree with snej with regards to not automatically clicking 'Allow' on any security alert.
The sensible thing to do, is to always check what the application or process does.
This isn't because the Mac is any more or less prone to attack. It's because most of the recent exploits that have targeted the Mac platform relied in part on social engineering tricks.
The alert should at the very least act as a 'wake-up call' to the user that something unusual is going on.
However, once a process has been identified as benign, I'd agree that clicking 'Always Allow' is a good way to avoid having to deal with that alert in the future.
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#4 User is offline   cinemachine 

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 04:34 PM

I just got a new iPhone and in turn signed up for MobileMe for the first time (I never had .Mac prior).

Now I am constantly bombarded by this PubSub Agent alert, at least once evey five minutes, and there is no check box that says "Always Allow." Am I missing something or forgot to turn something on in preferences? I'd love to get rid of this annoying problem as it is constantly affecting my work.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
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#5 User is offline   wrinkles 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:05 AM

I looked into PubSub's Clients.plist file (~/Library/PubSub/Clients.plist), and found my gmail password in plain text. It is also in plain text in PubSub's sqlite database. Fear not, indeed.
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#6 User is offline   Haugstve 

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:07 PM

Just a heads up. If you have problems with the security alert constantly bugging you it might be because you have modified one or more of the corresponding .plist files and lost the signature. An old article from 2007 on the subject:

http://forums.macnn....lications-once/

Why anyone would changed the .plist files of the PubSub Agent is beyond me.
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#7 User is offline   roderickv 

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  Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:57 AM

This article is a bit old but I just landed here and wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I am running LittleSnitch and it notified me that PubSub Agent was trying to connect to Facebook.com. The thing is, I am using my Mac Mini as a media server and never use it to connect to Facebook.com. Likewise I am not using it to sync my mobile me account either. So there would be no need for it to connect to Facebook.com - I don't care who says it's safe. In my case PubSub Agent doesn't need to connect to Facebook.com from this computer.

I ran across two separate articles that said "just click allow" and don't worry about it. I would recommend anyone who is running a firewall and gets a warning like this should first find out what the program is supposed to do and then rely on your own judgement, and don't be so quick to approve anything just because someone tells you it's safe. So I agree with Snej - don't automatically click "Allow" that defeats the whole purpose of the alert.

Lastly I strongly recommend LittleSnitch to monitor your outgoing traffic. You should know who your computer is talking to and LittleSnitch allows you granular control over a program. So you can prevent it from going to one destination, but allow it to go to another.
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#8 User is offline   Beppe 

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

roderickv is absolutely right about responsibly managing your mac's outgoing 'calls'.

Also, PubSub does a lot more then just load in RSS feeds. For some reason iPhoto crashes when the PubSub agent is removed (somebody want to shed some light on this?).
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