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MATLAB Drive Connector remote connections - how to know which connections to approve?

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I use LuLu to approve new network connections. Most cloud services connect to perhaps one or two remote servers. However, I regularly receive requests to connect to new servers from MATLABConnector and its related functions (MATLAB, MATLAB_R2021a, MathWorksServiceHost, AddOnProductInstaller, InstallMathWorksServiceHost, InstallMATLABConnector, MATLABWindow, matlabwindowhelper). For example, at this very moment in time MATLABConnector has nine simultaneous external connections, MATLAB has two, and MathWorksServiceHost has another two. In total, I have had to approve 18 external connections for MATLAB-related products. The sheer volume of connections is unprecedented as compared to other similar software (e.g. Google Drive / Dropbox / OneDrive).
Is this normal, i.e. should MATLABConnector really be asking for so many connections to remote servers? I cannot find any information online about which servers are genuine, and therefore no way of knowing whether or not these are Malware requests impersonating MATLAB. The purpose of network monitoring tools (such as LuLu) is meant to be to avoid Malware connections but the number of MATLAB-related requests can make this very difficult to keep on top of.
  1 Comment
Jeff Mandel
Jeff Mandel on 13 May 2023
The multiple connections are due to MathWorks using Akamai. Putting in a rule for the installed apps fixes this. The bigger problem is what happens when InstallMathWorksServiceHost or InstallMATLABConnector runs when I'm not at my machine to approve the outgoing connection. The installtion fails, as I haven't approved the outgoing connection from an unknown program, so it waits a bit and tries again. Eventually I get home and find 10 or more tiled requests from LuLu to approve the installer, which has a different path each time. This does no good; InstallMATLABConnector/InstallMathWorksServiceHost has hit the limit on retries, so I end up with another 10 rules allowing each of the requests I approved but no installed update. LuLu won't allow me put in a rule for the path */InstallMathWorksServiceHost, but it will allow me to identify an app by name if it is codesigned. The installed app is codesigned:
codesign --verify --verbose valid on disk satisfies its Designated Requirement
But the installer is not:
codesign --verify --verbose code object is not signed at all
In architecture: x86_64
It would be noce if MathWorks codesigned their installers; increasingly, Apple is making it difficult to run any unsigned apps.

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