AFP548 Site News,OS X,Security,Tips August 30, 2016 at 7:59 am

Stop All The Downloadin’

Just a quick one, to remind you that there are ways you can have a dialog with users about tightening security controls. We’re beating the drum about Flash dying a death, and haven’t included it in our image since the Great Analytics Fiasco of 20.0.0.235. I’m not the most tolerant or creative tech out there, so luckily my boss comes up with ideas about how to deal with our C-level customers inability to roll with the punches and maybe adopt Safari extensions like Open In Chrome. After years of training our (mostly) PC users that ‘a bookmark will be on your Desktop’, it’s maybe understandable that they don’t want that one-click way to push the current webpage to Chrome when they get a page with ‘Missing Plug-In ->’ somewhere on it.

The thing we’re trying to avoid is calls from users saying ‘I noticed I didn’t have Flash and found this download on a TOTALLY LEGIT SITEINSTALLNOWPLEASEADMINPASSWORDGIVEIT’. Shortcut icons have been translated to things in the Dock for some of our customers, and we’ve been known to get handy with some AppleScript on some limited occasions, so…

PULITZER, PLS

How did we approach it? An ‘app’ called Open Flash that we stuck in their Dock. When you launch it, you are prompted to Enter the website address you need to open with Flash: with some filled in text to insert https://www. in front (whether or not the dubdubdub is actually needed – we assume they’d copy-paste over the whole thing anyway). We even used the flash installer icon for the app, and our org’s branding in the dialog window πŸ˜…. When the hit return or click OK, it then launches Chrome (if closed) and opens whatever website was entered in a new Chrome tab. Is it some of our best work, that we’re proudest of? Maybe not, but if it stops ONE misguided download of Genieo, that’s one less janitorial task for us. Applescript below:

tell me
activate
set s to display dialog "Enter the website address you need to open with Flash:" default answer "https://www." with icon path to resource "applet.icns" in bundle (path to me)
end tell
tell application "Google Chrome"
open location text returned of s
activate
end tell

About Allister Banks

Allister has had the honor of writing a book with Charles Edge (http://url.aru-b.com/packtbook), an article or two for MacTech Magazine, and speaking at conferences like MacAdmins Conference at Penn State. He lives in NYC, contributes to various open source projects, and speaks enough Japanese to order food.

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2 Comments

  • You could get fancy and pre fill the field with the current open page. Something like:
    tell application “Safari”
    set page to URL of current tab of window 1
    end tell
    tell me
    activate
    set s to display dialog “Enter the website address you need to open with Flash:” default answer page
    end tell

    I guess it could get complicated to see if Safari or Firefox is active, but might simplify it for users a bit.

  • Pardon that I didn’t give you a shout-out to say thanks for your help with this, ehemmete!

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