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Remote SSH Into Your Mac Through iCloud

Everyone has experienced times when they wish they could access their home computer while on the road.  Maybe you forgot an important document, want a special music file, or just forgot to shut your computer down.  If you have 2 Macs both running iCloud (Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion), you can easily SSH intothe other one using the Terminal in just a few easy steps, giving you remote access from anywhere.

Before we get started, make sure Back To My Mac is enabled on your Macs.  To check, goto System Preferences and the iCloud preferences to make sure that the Back To My Mac option is enabled.  Next you must make sure that sharing is enabled on the computer you will SSH into.  Goto the Sharing system preference and make sure that the boxes for File Sharing and Remote Login are both checked to allow those sharing types.

Now that you have those items setup, it’s time to find your iCloud account number.  In the Terminal (Applications > Utilities), type the following:

dns-sd -E

The final 9 digits are your iCloud account number.

Now it’s time to SSH into your Mac through iCloud.  Type the following (or copy and paste it) with your iCloud account number inserted into the space given:

ssh -2 -6 username@computer-name.[account number]

You will need to know your computer’s name and your username before you SSH into it.  This name can be found by going to the System Preferences  Sharing preference on the destination computer.  Click on Remote Login. Your Computer name is listed at the top (if it’s multiple words use the address with the dashes). Your username is listed on the line below Remote Login right before the @ symbol.

All this information can be a lot to remember.  If you may use this frequently, you may want to add the following to your ~/.ssh/config file:

Host mac-remote
User username
HostName username@computer-name.[account number]
AddressFamily inet6
Protocol 2

Then can can simply type the following into the Terminal to SSH into your remote computer via iCloud:

ssh mac-remote

If you don’t want to hardcode your Back To My Mac address into your .ssh/config file, you can grab it dynamically each time by using this line:

echo show Setup:/Network/BackToMyMac | scutil | sed -n ‘s/.* : *\(.*\).$/\1/p’

While Terminal does have built-in support for Back To My Mac, it doesn’t always function correctly so you may not want to rely on it (although it is easier to use when it does work).

Open Terminal, goto the Shell menu and select New Remote Connection…

In the Services list, click Secure Shell (ssh)

Your Back To My Mac computers should begin to populate on the servers list along with any Bonjour servers on your local network.  Simply click the desired computer’s name, enter your username and password and click the Connect button.

SSH is a great, secure way to access your Mac remotely and with iCloud and Back To My Mac, you can do so from anywhere with ease.

Posted on

Create A Bootable Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Installer Flash Drive

Since the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X has been only available via download from the Mac App Store.  Many users like to be able to boot from an installer device to do a clean installation of the new operating system.  You can easily create a bootable Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion installer flash drive using the instructions below.

To create your own bootable USB device using your own flash drive (note that the device must be at least 8GB or larger), follow the instructions below.

1) Purchase and download Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store on any Mountain Lion compatible Macrunning Snow Leopard or Lion.  It will be downloaded to your Applications folder.


2) Right click on “Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion” installer and choose the option to “Show Package Contents”

Show Package Contents

3) Inside the Contents folder, you will find a SharedSupport folder and inside the SharedSupport folder you will find the InstallESD.dmg. This is the 10.8 Mountain Lion boot disc image.


4) Copy InstallESD.dmg to another folder like the Desktop.  To do so, simply click and drag the file to the desired location while holding down the Option key.


5) Plug in the flash drive and launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities).


6) Make sure the flash drive is properly formatted highlighting the flash drive at the left (make sure to select the device and not the volume shown under it) and clicking the Erase tab across the top right.  Then ensure that the Format drop-down menu is set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click the Erase button.  Confirm the dialog ensuring that you want to erase the device and all information on it (make sure you backup any existing information on the flash drive before this point).

Disk Utility Formatting


7) Select the Partition tab on the top right.

Creating Lion Installer Partition

Using the drop-down menu for Volume Scheme, choose 1 Partition as the partition scheme.

Choosing Number Of Partitions

 Highlight the partition by clicking on it in the space it is shown below the Volume Scheme drop-down and then click on Options underneath it.  Select GUID Partition Table and click OK. This will allow the Mac boot from the drive.

GUID Partition Table

You may now name the device in the Name textbox. Insure that Format is set to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). When you have finished, click the Apply button to format the USB device.  A warning will pop-up asking if you are sure you want to partition the media.  Click the Partition button to continue.

Formatting The Flash Drive

9) Click on the newly created volume listed under the USB device on the left. This volume will have the name of the device you set in the previous step.  Click the Restore tab at the top right.  In the Source area click the Image… button. Select the disk image InstallESD.dmg and click open (you may also drag-and-drop the disk image into the Source area).

Restoring Image To Disk

In the Destination area, make sure that the USB device’s name is showing. If it isn’t, simply click and drag the volume from the list at the left into the destination area.  Click Restore and confirm the dialog informing you the volume will be erased.  You will be prompted to enter the admin password for your Mac and the process will begin.

Restoring Erase Contents Warning

The bootable USB device will be created and a progress bar will show the current status of the operation at the bottom of the screen.

Restoration Progress Bar


10 ) When the operation is complete, you can verify that the flash drive is now bootable by selecting it and clicking the Info button in the upper left corner of the Disk Utility window.  Bootable status will show as Yes.

Bootable Flash Drive Information


To boot from the USB device, simply hold down the Option key while your Mac is booting up. A screen will appear asking you which volume you would like to boot the system from. Click on the OS X installer USB drive and the system will boot using the USB stick. You will see faster boot speeds using the USB installer compared to a DVD installer disc.

Instructions for creating a bootable Mountain Lion Installer DVD can be found here.

Posted on Inc. Releases MacLockPick 3.0

The original cross-platform live forensics tool is better than ever

FREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Inc. announces the newest version of their cross-platform live digital forensic field tool, MacLockPick 3.0. The new version offers improvements in iOS support, the addition of file and meta tag filters, upgraded application support, and more. These upgrades continue to make MacLockPick the most powerful live forensics tool available.

MacLockPick 3.0 exploits the structure of the Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems to find valuable information for an investigator or digital forensics examiner. Information such as passwords, wireless connection points, web browsing history, email, chat history, network information and much more are all available quickly and simply.

“Timely identification and meaningful interpretation of digital media has never been more critical. Investigators are constantly faced with new challenges in the technology field and ever changing environment of digital forensics,” said Marko Kostyrko, CEO of Inc. “Dealing with cyber criminals requires live forensics and on-scene forensic triage tools like MacLockPick 3.0 when time matters in minutes, not days.”

• Extract iPhoto information based on camera type

• Upgraded iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X Lion support

• Upgraded plugin application support

• Increased speed in processing suspect machines

• Additional focus on Apple technologies

• User selectable order of plugin execution

MacLockPick 3.0 is expandable to provide maximum flexibility and power to support forensics investigations thanks to the plug-in based architecture. MacLockPick 3.0 allows forensics investigators to add third party plug-ins to further enhance the abilities of MacLockPick.

More information and details about what can be captured using MacLockPick can be found at:

Pricing starting at $499. Upgrade pricing starts at $349 (upgrade plans are available and many users are already covered by the upgrade/maintenance plan). All current MacLockPick license holders may contact for upgrade information.

Review units are available. Media and interested parties may request them by emailing:

For training on MacForensicsLab products, please email:

MacForensicsLab is a trademark of Inc. Mac OS X is a trademark of Apple Inc. All other trademarks remain property of their respective owners.

Contacts Inc.
Marketing contact:
Ben Brausen, 510-870-7883

Posted on

MacForensicsLab 4.0 released

FREMONT, Ca., January 18, 2012–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Inc. announces the immediate availability of the latest version of their powerful computer forensic suite, MacForensicsLab 4.0. The new version brings a streamlined interface and many other improvements to make examinations quicker and more accurate than ever before.

The latest version of MacForensicsLab features a redesigned interface allowing tasks to be carried out using fewer clicks for faster results. The examination process has also been improved with the addition of better bookmarking, more auditing control, and other improvements.

“MacForensicsLab continues to be the benchmark for Mac forensics with the release of version 4.0,” said Marko Kostyrko, CEO of Inc. “The latest version improves on core functionality and makes the investigation process even easier for examiners.”

  • Redesigned main window navigation
  • Rewritten to take full advantage of the power of Mac OS X
  • New search function and interface
  • Better bookmark management
  • Improved user selectable auditing function

For more information about MacForensicsLab 4.0, please visit

MacForensicsLab is priced at $1495. Upgrade pricing is available for owners of previous versions of MacForensicsLab for $495. Those that purchased MacForensicsLab within the past 90 days are entitled to receive a free upgrade to version 4.0. Please contact for information on upgrading.

Evaluation copies of MacForensicsLab 4.0 are available to licensed investigators and media. Please contact to obtain an evaluation agreement.

MacForensicsLab is a trademark of Inc. Mac OS X is a trademark of Apple Inc. All other trademarks remain property of their respective owners.

Contacts Inc.
Marketing contact:
Ben Brausen, 510-870-7883

Release Summary
MacForensicsLab version 4.0 is the most powerful and cost-effective forensic tool on the market specifically designed to meet the demands of modern law enforcement and digital forensic investigators.