SEB on Mac and Screenshots

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2014-02-26
2015-02-27
  • Emily Jeanes

    Emily Jeanes - 2014-02-26

    Hey there!

    We have had a few schools report students' ability to take Screenshots when using SEB MacOSX 2.0pre2 on Mountain Lion (10.8.1 and recreated on 10.8.5 and Mavericks 10.9.1 locally). I found this old bug report #26, referencing that this would/will be resolved with 2.0. Is 2.0 available quite yet? And do we know if those screenshots can indeed be blocked in 2.0, or 2.0pre2?

    Any updates would be great!

    Thanks,

    Emily

     
  • Daniel Schneider

    The screenshot issue isn't solved yet in SEB MacOSX 2.0pre2 and it won't be neither in pre3 which I intend to release asap to have a Mac version out which is compatible with the final .seb file format and the Browser Exam Key request header check as it is used in SEB 2.0RC for Windows.

    I will work on blocking screenshots further, but it seems not easy to accomplish. I have some ideas how to do it, but it will require some major enhancement in SEB MacOSX (which will also be used for some other important new features). Maybe it will make it into SEB 2.0, maybe into 2.1.

    Greetings Daniel

     
    Last edit: Daniel Schneider 2014-02-26
    • Doug Loomer

      Doug Loomer - 2014-02-27

      To make SEB more secure in our Macbook 1:1 environment, I wrote a wrapper
      script which:

      1. disables screenshots
      2. clears the recent items cache
      3. closes all but specifically whitelisted programs
      4. makes sure only one user account is active
      5. disables hotkeys
      6. launches SEB
      7. and upon exiting SEB
        a. restores screenshots
        b. reenables hotkeys
        c. and shuts down the student's computer

      We've been using it for the past two years with good success. If anyone is
      interested in the details or code (which I sure could be much improved),
      let me know.

      All the best,

      Doug

      On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:03 AM, Daniel Schneider danschlet@users.sf.netwrote:

      The screenshot issue isn't solved yet in SEB MacOSX 2.0pre2 and it won't
      be neither in pre3 which I intend to release asap to have a Mac version out
      which is compatible with the final .seb file format and the Browser Exam
      Key request header check as it is used in SEB 2.0RC for Windows.

      I will work on blocking screenshots further, but it seems not easy to
      accomplish. I have some ideas how to do it, but it will require some major
      enhancement in SEB MacOSX (which will also be used for some other important
      new features). Maybe it will make it into SEB 2.0, maybe into 2.1.


      SEB on Mac and Screenshotshttps://sourceforge.net/p/seb/discussion/844844/thread/04a952fc/?limit=25#e093

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  • Daniel Schneider

    Hi Doug

    Sounds great. We would highly appreciate if you would contribute your code, even though I also did some work on some of the points you mention, it sounds like future versions of SEB could profit from your work. According to my research blocking some of the features you mentioned needs administrator/root rights, that means SEB will have to use a background service and ask for an admin password once when being first started. This is a bit complicated to include into SEB and is impossible for the Mac App Store version, there we also will have to use some separate tool.

    What kind of hotkeys are you disabling?
    Clearing the recent items cache: Do you mean the list in Finder which is displayed also in file dialogs, or something else?

    Daniel

    I will send you a private message regarding the code.

     
    Last edit: Daniel Schneider 2014-02-27
    • Bob Hendricks

      Bob Hendricks - 2015-02-27

      Very happy to have benefited from Doug's customization of SEB 1.x before losing him to another institution. Thanks to SEB and based on Doug's scripting work we were able to deploy SEB and supporting scripts via CASPER to our our Mac users. Yesterday I downloaded the current version 2.0 and am now attempting to use the configured .seb file to deploy pre-configured SEB to our Mac users clients via CASPER. I would be grateful for any guidance information that would allow me to use the .seb file that I have created in the Mac SEB interface and saved to deploy pre-configured SEB without relying on user interaction of applying the .seb configuration file. Excited to get this out for our teachers that rely on moodle and SEB! :)

       
      Last edit: Bob Hendricks 2015-02-27
      • Daniel Schneider

        This is possible and mentioned in the manual:

        While starting, SEB now checks if there is a configuration file named SebClientSettings.seb in in the Preferences folder (~/Library/Preferences/) and reconfigures itself silently (no user feedback) to the settings in that file, then the file is deleted. This works only if the administrator password in this file matches the one set in the local settings of the SEB client or if there isn't an administrator password set yet in the local settings. This means, if the SEB clients haven't been configured before (because SEB just got installed), you can set an arbitrary administrator password in the SebClientSettings.seb file. The second time you reconfigure SEB clients with this method, the administrator password in the new SebClientSettings.seb file has to match the one used before, otherwise the client won't be reconfigured. The file can either be unencrypted or encrypted with a password that matches the administrator password set in the local settings of the SEB client (otherwise the password to decrypt the settings file will be prompted).

        Hope this helps, otherwise let me know.

         
  • Emily Jeanes

    Emily Jeanes - 2014-02-28

    Thanks so much for the update, Daniel! That is very helpful to know, and I will be sure to pass on the words to schools using SEB and Haiku who have inquired.

    I'd definitely be interested in that wrapper script, Doug, if you're up for sharing. Anything you can send my way would be wonderful.

    Thanks again!

    Emily

     
  • Daniel Schneider

    The final release of SEB 2.0 for Mac OS X has blocking of screenshots built-in. Some other features which Doug's script does (for allowing to use third party applications in exams without having to use a parental controls managed user account) will be included in a future update of SEB.

     

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