ITS 3250 - Securing Systems

Windows Server 2012 Security...
and now for something completely different... macOS

This lesson presents some information about running macOS in a virtual machine. Objectives important to this lesson:

  1. Installing VirtualBox
  2. Downloading an image for macOS
  3. Installing the image
  4. Tweaking VirtualBox for the image

According to Wikipedia (stop rolling your eyes, Lucas) the name of this operating system has changed a number of times. It was born as an offshoot of BSD. It became macOS in 2016.

Currently, version numbers and code names are still used. Our experiment this week takes us to version 10.12, Sierra, the first version to have the macOS name.

Before we attempt to install a virtual machine, let's make sure our computers have a version of VirtualBox that is compliant. The tutorial we will use calls for VirtualBox version 5.1.22 or later. I had a copy on my computer already. When I checked for upgrades, it installed 5.1.26.

This version of VirtualBox apparently does not know about Sierra, so we can select El Capitan, then modify the settings once we have the download unpacked.

Unlike some earlier versions of OS X, the version provided to us for this exercise is 5.7 GB as a rar file, which must then be decompressed into a vmdk (virtual machine disk) install file. (Full text of link:

This may take a little time to download in the lab. I found that it unpacked nicely with 7-Zip, so we don't actually need WinRAR.

You will also need to apply some command line modifications to your virtual Mac while VirtualBox is closed. This is included in the article, but here are the commands in case you are having trouble finding them:

  • VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "Mac OS Sierra" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
  • VBoxManage setextradata "Mac OS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3"

  • VBoxManage setextradata "Mac OS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0"

  • VBoxManage setextradata "Mac OS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple"

  • VBoxManage setextradata "Mac OS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"

  • VBoxManage setextradata "Mac OS Sierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1

The assignment this week is to download what you need, then to work through the tutorial on installing and running Sierra in VirtualBox. If you find this too simple, follow this link to download and install the VirtualBox version of High Sierra. (Looks like the image on the right needs two updates.)

After that, take a look at this article on Mac security tips. It is on a UK site, so it may seem a little different to you. Once your virtual Mac is installed, run through the tips in the article. Use the information in the article to complete the assignment below.



Deliverable: write a report on your installation of the virtual Mac, and on applying techniques from the article linked above. This is not a two sentence report. Tell me what you did, what you tried, what your impressions are about the advice from the Macworld author.