Known limitations

  • Santa only blocks execution (execve and variants); it doesn’t protect against dynamic libraries loaded with dlopen, libraries on disk that have been replaced, or libraries loaded using DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES.

  • Scripts: Santa is written to ignore any execution that isn’t a binary. After weighing the administrative cost versus the benefit, we found it wasn’t worthwhile to manage the execution of scripts. Additionally, several applications make use of temporary scripts, and blocking these could cause problems. We’re happy to revisit this (or at least make it an option) if it would be useful to others.

  • USB Mass Storage Blocking: Santa’s USB Mass Storage blocking feature only stops incidental data exfiltration. It is not meant as a hard control. It cannot block:

    • Directly writing to an unmounted, but attached device
  • Metrics reported by Santa are not currently in a format that is friendly to open source solutions (Issue #563)