Over the last few years there has been an increasing number of malware attacks on AutoCAD. These attacks typically leverage the legacy autoloading process of the stock customization files (acad.lsp, acad.dvb, etc.) that come with AutoCAD. Modified versions of these files end up getting automatically loaded into AutoCAD and can cause data loss, corruption, and general annoyance. Here is a typical scenario…
A customer receives a ZIP file containing a variety of files including drawings, fonts, and a modified version of a stock customization file such as acad.lsp. The customer unzips that archive to a folder and double-clicks on one of the drawings to launch it. Launching the drawing this way makes that folder the current working directory–check DWGPREFIX to see for yourself–and because the current folder contains an acad.lsp file, it gets loaded automatically and begins doing whatever malicious tasks it was modified to do. To make matters worse, that file might be flagged as hidden so the customer may not even know that it's in the zip file.
Restrict autoloading of default customization to a specified location ONLY.
Disable autoloading of default customization files.
Disable the ability to load any AutoLISP file, automatically or manually.
Note: These same controls will also be added to AutoCAD 2013 for Mac and AutoCAD 2013-based verticals when their respective service packs are released. AutoCAD LT does not run AutoLISP or VBA applications and does not require these security measures.
AUTOLOADPATH system variable
The AUTOLOADPATH system variable controls the folders from which AutoCAD automatically loads the following AutoLISP and VBA files:
The default value of AUTOLOADPATH is the empty string ("") or period (.) which is legacy autoloading behavior so you'll want to change this to the unique folder where your authorized applications are located.
AUTOLOAD system variable
The AUTOLOAD system variable–no relation to the (autoload) AutoLISP function–controls whether the default AutoLISP applications and acad.dvb are automatically loaded at startup. When set to 0 it prevents those previously listed customization files from automatically loading.
/nolisp Startup Switch
A new /nolisp switch can be added to the shortcut properties of your AutoCAD icon to disable the loading of all AutoLISP applications in the current AutoCAD session, including all LSP, FAS, and VLX files (I haven't check it myself but I presume this affects MNL files as well). If your system has already been infected, this switch can help you limit the impact of the malware by stopping all AutoLISP from being loaded, either automatically or manually using APPLOAD, drag-n-drop, or the (load) function.
A new LISPENABLED system variable reports whether AutoLISP is enabled in the current AutoCAD session. If LISPENABLED is 0, AutoLISP has been disabled by the /nolisp startup switch.
Note: Disabling AutoLISP also prevents the Express Tools and some AutoCAD command tools from functioning and should only be used in emergency situations.
Other changes include:
The acad2013.lsp and acad2013doc.lsp files will now be loaded only from their default installation folders.
The "Load acad.lsp with every drawing" checkbox on the System tab of the Options dialog box (ACADLSPASDOC system variable) will be disabled when AUTOLOAD or LISPENABLED has a value of 0.
The short version is that no AutoCAD for Mac or AutoCAD LT for Mac products are currently supported on Mountain Lion however they are actively working on adding that support. As explained in the solution, there will be beta programs announced for service packs for AutoCAD 2012 for Mac and AutoCAD 2013 for Mac that will add support for Mountain Lion. Until a service pack is available, they recommend NOT installing Mac OS X 10.8 on any systems running AutoCAD 2013 for Mac, AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, AutoCAD LT 2013 for Mac, or AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac.
I know I've said this before but I tend to be cautious when upgrading operating systems anyway. Two of my daily-use machines are Macs and I just can't afford the risk of disrupting my workflow because some critical applications are not yet supported or because the OS fundamentally changed something that affects how I work (I still have a Snow Leopard partition on one machine for this very reason). Even if AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac were fully supported on the same day that Mountain Lion is released, my personal recommendation would still be to wait a bit before upgrading.
There is a reason it's called the "bleeding edge".
Product keys are required for installation and activation of Autodesk products and are used to differentiate products that are both sold independently and as part of one or more product suites. For example, the AutoCAD you receive as a point product is identical to the AutoCAD you receive as part of a suite except for the license it requests. It is the product key that tells us what was purchased so it can be activated appropriately. Thus, a user installing AutoCAD 2013 as a point product would use product key 001E1, but a user installing AutoCAD 2013 from the Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate 2013 would use product key 781E1. The exact same AutoCAD gets installed in both cases but it is the product key that differentiates one package from the other.
Product keys were first introduced in the 2010 releases and since that time we have received a pretty steady volume of support calls from customers who don't know where to find their product key. This has resulted in the creation of solutions such as How to find your serial number and product key in Subscription Center and How to find the product key for your Autodesk product. Even with those references, some customers still seem to have trouble finding their product keys, or they work in an environment where that information is not readily accessible to them, e.g., they don't have their product media, they don't have access to the Subscription Center, etc.
To help address these issues, the following four technical solutions have just been published to the Autodesk support knowledge base listing the individual product keys for 2010-2013 Autodesk products:
Important Note: Make sure you use the correct product key for the Autodesk product and version you are installing or activating. Entering an incorrect product key can result in activation errors for that product.
Of course, this information is also available in the License Administration Guide (LicenseAdministration.pdf) that gets installed with the Autodesk NLM but that PDF file is often overlooked. That file is created by Flexera Software and can typically found in the Autodesk Network License Manager folder. It contains a wealth of information and is a good companion to the Autodesk licensing documentation.