Tag: Mac OS X

A Dozen Flaws in Popular Mac Clean-Up Software Allow Local Root Access

A passel of privilege-escalation vulnerabilities in MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X software would allow a local attacker to gain root access to an Apple machine in various ways. CleanMyMac X is a cleanup application for MacOS that optimizes the drives and frees up space by scanning for unused, redundant or unnecessary files and deleting them. No fewer than a dozen flaws plague 4.0 and earlier versions of the software, all of them in the package’s “helper protocol.”

The helper functions of the software run as root functions and the flaws arise from the fact that they can be accessed by applications without validation – thus giving those applications root access.

Read more about the critical flaws in CleanMyMac X software on Threatpost.

How to Securely Erase Your Mac’s SSD

It’s been awhile since I sold an old Mac. Back when I did that last, the Mac had a hard disk. Securely erasing a hard disk isn’t hard to do, and it’s been discussed in many places.These days, because SSDs have been an option for Macs for almost a decade, it’s very likely that you have, or will soon have, a Mac for sale that boots from an SSD. You’ll want to securely erase that SSD, but it’s a bit tricker than a plain hard disk.

Read how you can completely and securely erase your Mac PC/laptop’s SSD before selling or junking it on Mac Observer.

Microsoft Windows 10 vs. Apple macOS: 18 security features compared

One of the quickest ways to troll IT security professionals is to proclaim that either Microsoft Windows computers or Apple Macs have better security. In reality, both OSes are adequately secure when operated with their default security settings along with their vendor’s best practice recommendations, but after decades of intense competition for passionate consumers, the subject borders on a technical religious war. You won’t gain many friends by claiming both are secure.

Read about the security features comparison between the two dominant PC/laptop operating systems on CSO Online.

Researchers Uncover macOS and Safari Exploits at Pwn2Own 2018

The eighteenth annual CanSecWest security conference is underway in downtown Vancouver, Canada, where researchers are competing in the 11th Pwn2Own computer hacking contest for over $2 million in prizes.

Day one results have already been published over at the Zero Day Initiative website, with a couple of successful Mac-related exploits already appearing in the list of achievements.

Read about the latest Apple MacOS and Safari browser vulnerabilities on Macrumours.

Warning as Mac malware exploits climb 270%

Reputable anti-malware security vendor Malwarebytes is warning Mac users that malware attacks against the platform climbed 270 percent last year. The security experts also warn that four new malware exploits targeting Macs have been identified in the first two months of 2018, noting that many of these exploits were identified by users, rather than security firms.

Read how Apple’s MacOS run computers run the risk of malware on IT Pro.

Meet Coldroot, a nasty Mac trojan that remotely steal passwords from your Apple device

Security experts have uncovered a malicious strain of malware dubbed “Coldroot” that is still undetectable by most antivirus software despite being uploaded to GitHub nearly two years ago. The remote access trojan (RAT) has been freely available on GitHub since 30 March, 2016 and was apparently “made with love” to “play with MAC users”.

Patrick Wardle, chief research officer at Digita Security, said the malicious code was also put up for sale by its apparent author “Coldzer0” on underground markets since 1 January 2017 who offered customers ways to customise the malware as well.

Read about Coldroot trojan which remotely steals passwords from Mac run computers on ZDNet.

Macs vulnerable to virtually undetectable virus that “can’t be removed”

A security researcher has discovered a way to infect Macs with malware virtually undetectable and that ‘can’t be removed.’ The attack, which has been called Thunderstrike, installs the malicious code into the Boot ROM of the system via the Thunderbolt port.

Trammell Hudson, who works for hedge fund Two Sigma Investments and is also the creator of the Magic Lantern open-source programming environment for Canon DSLRs, discovered the vulnerability after his employer asked him to look into the security of Apple notebooks.

Read more about the Mac vulnerability on ZDNet.

U.S. accounts for most Mac OS X attacks and websites seeded with malware

This year was a tough one for U.S. Apple users and U.S.-run websites, according to Kaspersky Lab’s year-in-review blog post. U.S. Apple users accounted for the largest portion of attacks on Mac OS X this year with 98,077 users being attacked, which accounted for 39 percent of all Mac OS X attacks Kaspersky documented.

This trend toward U.S. users could be for an obvious reason, said Patrick Nielsen, senior security researcher, Kaspersky Lab. Put simply, Americans use Apple computers more than other documented countries.

Read more about the statistics of  malware attacks on Mac OS X, once considered an attack proof OS, on SC Magazine.

Google Chrome drops support for early Intel Macs

Google is rolling out Chrome browser version 39 to OS X users. This brings a big change – a shift from 32-bit to full and exclusive 64-bit support.

By switching Chrome to 64-bit, Google hopes that it will be faster and use less memory. The update also patches over 40 vulnerabilities. But there is a drawback – older Macs are stuck on version 38, the last 32-bit version.

Apple announced the switch from PowerPC to Intel COUs in early 2005, with the first hardware making an appearance in early 2006. However, these early Intel Macs were based on 32-bit architecture, and Apple didn’t completely adopt 64-bit until August 2007.

Here’s when Apple computer models transitioned from 32-bit to 64-bit hardware:

MacBook Pro: October 2006
MacBook: November 2006
iMacs: September 2006
Mac Mini: August 2007
The MacBook Air was launched with 64-bit processors.

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, released in August 2009, was the last OS X release to support 32-bit Intel Macs. Users that are still on that OS release – or earlier – will either have to stick with Chrome 38 and make do with not receiving security patches, or switch to Firefox or Opera, both of which continue to support 32-bit OS X.

Read more about Google Chromes latest rollout for Chrome and its dropping early Intel Macs on ZDNet.

Google releases enterprise malware watchdog called ‘Santa’ for Mac OS

While some consumers find Apple’s XProtect anti-malware enough protection for their Mac, most enterprises running Apple machines don’t, including Google, which has developed its own lockdown software.

Dubbed Santa, the software developed by Google’s Macintosh Operations Apple Team “keeps track of binaries that are naughty and nice”.

Google released the tool on GitHub last week as an open source project that others can contribute to. The OS X security tool is just one of many the team has open sourced in the past that are used to manage the company’s fleet of over 40,000 Macs worldwide. As Google’s Mac ops team outlined last year, it has a preference for open source tools and, if it can’t find one that suits, the team builds its own. Some of the tools built by Google include Simian, its in-house software deployment system for Macs, and Cauliflower Vest, a key recovery system designed for FileVault.

Santa is an early version of a binary whitelisting and blacklisting system for Mac OS X, which offers enterprises a way to monitor and lockdown devices in the fleet.

Read more about Google’s latest anti malware product called Santa for Apple OS X on ZDNet.