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Why/what is applepushserviced trying to push on Snow Leopard?!?

13118 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2013 7:46 AM by thencamenow RSS
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Scott Andrews Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 16, 2011 12:15 PM

Just updated to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 with the new iTunes 10 so I could install iOS5 on my iPhone.  Now, Little Snitch keeps telling me applepushserviced is trying to connect to various subdomains of 

1) I thought this daemon was only on Lion. 2) what could it possibly be trying to push? 3) anybody know of a way I can take a look at what it's pushing?



  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    It's to receive push notifications, likely checking for iCal and Mail.


    You know, ever more complication for really little benefit or time savings, "oh look I can save a Calander reminder on my $600 Phone and it updates on my $3000 Mac.


    Big deal, get a cheap pen and a pocket organizer/calander for $10 at any office store.



  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Scott Andrews wrote:


    What I want to know are specifics about what it is actually doing.


    It doesn't make sense to me because 1) this is not an iOS device, 2) I don't use iCal or Apple Mail or iCloud, or FaceTime, 3) it only popped up today when I opened iTunes, but didn't pop up at all yesterday when I had iTunes open almost all day. So, why now? And what could iTunes possibly need with push notifications?


    Nobody cares, Apple and the entire industry has shown they clearly intend to do what ever the heck they want, whenever they want and the only choice you have is not to use anything they make.


    You can't use technology at all anymore without everything being recorded for some "helpful" "geewihiz bang" feature and everyone knowing about it in the process.


    It's imposible to keep up with all the "what does this do and why(s)" and all the details because as soon as you get it figured out, they come up with another one. Or it takes a year or so to find out they have been doing something all along, like recordng people's iPhone GPS locations and transfering that back to a Mac in a hidden file that people were using software to track others with. Apple got caught on that and called in on the carpet in front of Congress to answer for it.



    Let me sum it up (and this is only what I know):


        •    Google records all your searches

        •    Google and others use web bugs to track you

        •    SSD drives are not secure eraseable

        •    Cell carriers track your GPS location through tower triangulation 8 times a hour keep it for 6 months

        •    ISP's record all your web traffic and keeps it for a year, some have been selling this data now

        •    HTML 5 has introduced new cookie tracking methods

        •    There are Flash cookies, Evercookies and new forms of cookie tracking popping up all the time

        •    Facebook is recording all the websites you visit even if you log out of Facebook

        •    Apple's Safari respawns cookies, gives your location data to websites

        •    There are log files on Mac's that record all the DNS lookups (aka sites you visited)

        •    Apple, Microsoft and Google all have been caught violating people's security and privacy, then give some "opt out" selection somewhere that most people don't know or bother with so eventually it just gets removed from lack of attention and outrage.

        •    Devices from Cellbrite can bypass passwords, encryption and download the entire contents of over 3000 models of cell phones SSD drives in a few minutes.

        •    There OS X based "nannyware" that can be used by parents, corporations, schools and business that monitor and even watch the screen of others computers, even turn on the microphone and webcam.

        •    There is Linux based forensic software that can be booted off a disk/USB on Mac's or PC's and everything a person was doing with the machine laid out like a road map. Delete all you want, it still appears.

        •    There is EFI firmware on Mac's that programs can be installed that bypass and work entirely outside of OS X, get online, check your drive and watch your web traffic.

        •    Apple Mac's incorportate your personal identification all over the computer, broadcasts it online and over local networks ("Tim Jones computer")

        •    Companies, advertising, search engines and otherwise, are in business to profile everyone at a given IP address, supposedly they can classify your personality within the first dozen or two websites you visit, they do this to target advertising at you that your most likely to click on, tugging on your beliefs, political view, age and other factors.

        •    Supposedly cell phones can be turned on and into listening devices

        •    OS X 10.6.8/10.7.x updates are synching data from Apple for iOS devices and iCloud already.

        •    OnStar and TomTom have reportly been caught tracking users.


    I used to advise people how to clean up their machines, but it's been long impossible mission now.


    You only choice(s) is if you have a hard drive:


    1: Zero erase the entire hard drive, reformat and reinstall OS X, your programs from fresh sources and files from (not TimeMachine!) backup


    2: or reverse clone from a pristine clone on a external drive already previously preserved in that state





    Treat all technology like the spy/rat/snitch/fink it is and don't tell it anything you don't want the world knowing about, think about that before you click every link. Don't carry anything electronic if you don't want your location broadcasted to everyone and be targeted for advertising and other scams as you walk around a shopping mall.



    The war is lost, game over.


  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    Well put, ds.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (11,880 points)

    You may not win completely, but some things you can do to fight back. Some for privacy, others for security, some for both.


    -Little Snitch**

    -Firefox -- no other browser can achieve this level of privacy and security -- with the following Add-ons (in Fx Preferences, tell sites you don't want to be tracked. Kind of "please be nice.")

      NoScript** (No other browser even comes close to Fx with just NoScript alone.)

      FlashBlock (not needed if you use NoScript with "Apply these restrictions to whitelisted sites too" in Options>Embeddings)


      Better Privacy*

      Request Policy

      Redirect Remover



      AdBlock Plus*

      Beef Taco Advertising cookie opt out (probably kind of lame, since it's only voluntary on their part. Installs hundreds of tracking cookies, which may go active if they are not cooperating. I tried it once and disabled.)

      NoRedirect (if you can figure out how to use it. I can't)


    **Absolutely Essential

    * Essential


    Turn off Allow Cookies from third party sites

    Disable Java in the browser

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    WZZZ wrote:




    Don't forget to enable "Flash and Silverlight deletion upon exit" in Ghostery preferences.



    Oh and add Silverlight cookies to that massive list of spyware I made.


    You see, it's getting too much to remember already.



    You know some people call us paranoid "Tin Foil" hatters, but the fact is they really ARE watching.

  • JGreashaber Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's not a helpful answer, but I also noticed it today, only after upgrading to iTunes 10.5.1 (Had 10.5 and didn't notice it before either.) Have been using OS X 10.6.8 for some time now however. Except it was trying to connect to after starting iTunes. However, I will note that my wife was using her iPad at the time and accessing the iTunes library on this system.


    I blocked it with Little Snitch, doesn't seem to cause any issues beyond that.


    As for "they're watching you", I have been blocking URL's and IP's from advertisers and pop-up sites in my router configuration so it never even makes it past that. However, that doesn't stop every single one. Thanks for the list of suggested plug-ins for Firefox, I will make a mental note to go check those out later.


    I did some searching and it appears to be "safe". From what I gather, it's sending data to sync with your iCloud which then syncs with your other Apple devices. Of course, why it would want to do that if you don't even use anything else Apple would be beyond me.

  • osmanthus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been using Little Snitch for years and have also used several of the Firefox extensions mentioned earlier. My experience however is that after having made the browser "bullet-proof" you end up with the majority of websites not working. And for the non-geek it's a bit too complex to figure out which extension is to blame, which one needs to be tweaked/configured and so on.

    So I've ended up using just a few privacy related extensions, hopefully helping a little bit in the least while not causing a major headache when surfing the web:


    • Flashblock. All Adobe Flash based sites get their contents replaced with an "f" (not Facebook!) icon. If you trust the site and want to see its contents you just click on the "f" icon. If you visit such a site regularly you can "whitelist" (always allow flash) from that/those sites
    • Prefbar. Basically just a simpler way of accessing Firefox's preferences by configuring buttons in the browser window itself. For instance, I prefer to block cookies from sites unless I really need them, and in those situations I try to "allow for session" first. If that doesn't work I reluctantly choose "allow".
      So what i do is set up Prefbar to have a "cookies" button in the browser window (below the navigation buttons) and in Firefox-Preferences-Privacy settings I choose to "enable cookies", "keep third party cookies"-"Keep until: ask every time". After closing the preference window I can disable the "Cookies" button in the browser window until I come across a "problem site" which I suspect won't work because of my disabling cookies.
    • Optimize Google. Makes Google less obtrusive apparently
    • AdBlock. After a lot of hassle with sites not working I finally spent some time configuring some additional filters, so for the most part is behaves fine now.


    I do wish there was a simpler way to privacy enable your computer without spending a lot of time or being/becoming a geek though.

  • Lightning George Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This thread seems to be cold, but...


    ...if you haven't already done so, take a gander at this:


    I, at least, can rest much easier after reading this article.

  • iamsudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    ds store, nice rant

  • iamsudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Scott, 1) AFAIK SL/L 2) man applepushserviced 3) Wireshark?


    In case you want to disable it try this (tested in 10.7.4)


    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • gaberdine mac Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Gosh, I came here by searching for answers to the same question but, Wow, what a spectacularly unhelpful and rant-filled thread this is! "Here be rants" is about right, Scott.


    [I had posts removed for "non-constructive rants" a few days ago, when all I was doing was begging for assitance in downgrading iOS7 to iOS6, and clarifying why this is so important to me. Far be it from me to accuse Apple of double-standards and censorship, of course...]


    Anyway, I don't posess a tinfoil hat so I'll do my best to assist with the OP's question rather than banging out a manifesto for the disenchanted...


    According to this site it could be Facetime pushing notifications to your Mac


    More plausibly, it would be iTunes pushing potential App status updates to your iDevice (and possibly Find My Phone), in which case you may not want to mess with it. Port 5223 indicates your Mac and iPhone are connecting via your local wireless network apparently, which corresponds with my own experience.


    Here's an interesting German website that explores this issue (with instructions on how to deactivate it from your Mac, if you *really* want to). Point 5 discusses port numbers.


    FWIW I don't think Apple is spying on my iPhone via push services and I have allowed it in Little Snitch.

  • Yeehat Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    gaberdine mac wrote:


    According to this site it could be Facetime pushing notifications to your Mac


    Exactly what happened here. My daughter used for the first time FaceTime on my wife's account and since then Little Snitch began catching connection requests to on login. I just turned off FaceTime before quitting and logging out from that account and LS warnings disappeared.

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