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The Hacker News — Cyber Security and Hacking News Website: Apple Mac OS X

Google Discloses Unpatched 'High-Severity' Flaw in Apple macOS Kernel

Google Discloses Unpatched 'High-Severity' Flaw in Apple macOS Kernel
March 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
Cybersecurity researcher at Google's Project Zero division has publicly disclosed details and proof-of-concept exploit of a high-severity security vulnerability in macOS operating system after Apple failed to release a patch within 90 days of being notified. Discovered by Project Zero researcher Jann Horn and demonstrated by Ian Beer, the vulnerability resides in the way macOS XNU kernel allows an attacker to manipulate filesystem images without informing the operating system. The flaw could eventually allow an attacker or a malicious program to bypass the copy-on-write (COW) functionality to cause unexpected changes in the memory shared between processes, leading to memory corruption attacks. Copy-On-Write, also referred to as COW, is a resource-management optimization strategy used in computer programming. In general, if any process (destination) requires a file or data that is already in the memory but created by another process (source), both processes can share the

All New Privacy and Security Features Coming in macOS 10.14 Mojave

All New Privacy and Security Features Coming in macOS 10.14 Mojave
June 05, 2018Mohit Kumar
At Worldwide Developer Conference 2018 on Monday, Apple announced the next version of its macOS operating system, and it's called Mojave . Besides introducing new features and improvements of macOS 10.14 Mojave—like Dark Mode, Group FaceTime, Dynamic Desktop, and Finder—at WWDC, Apple also revealed a bunch of new security and privacy features coming with the next major macOS update. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new features included in Mojave are "inspired by pro users, but designed for everyone," helping you protect from various security threats. Here's a list of all macOS Mojave security and privacy features: Safari's Enhanced "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" It's no longer shocking that your online privacy is being invaded, and everything you search online is being tracked—thanks to third-party trackers present on the Internet in the form of social media like and sharing buttons that marketers and data brokers use to monitor web use

A Single-Character Message Can Crash Any Apple iPhone, iPad Or Mac

A Single-Character Message Can Crash Any Apple iPhone, iPad Or Mac
February 16, 2018Wang Wei
Only a single character can crash your iPhone and block access to the Messaging app in iOS as well as popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Outlook for iOS, and Gmail. First spotted by Italian Blog Mobile World, a potentially new severe bug affects not only iPhones but also a wide range of Apple devices, including iPads, Macs and even Watch OS devices running the latest versions of their operating software. Like previous 'text bomb' bug, the new flaw can easily be exploited by anyone, requiring users to send only a single character from Telugu—a native Indian language spoken by about 70 million people in the country. Once the recipient receives a simple message containing the symbol or typed that symbol into the text editor, the character immediately instigates crashes on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and Apple TVs running Apple's iOS Springboard. Apps that receive the text bomb tries to load the character, but fails and refuses to function prope

Newly Discovered Mac Malware with Ancient Code Spying on Biotech Firms

Newly Discovered Mac Malware with Ancient Code Spying on Biotech Firms
January 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a rare piece of Mac-based espionage malware that relies on outdated coding practices but has been used in some previous real-world attacks to spy on biomedical research center computers. Dubbed Fruitfly , the malware has remained undetected for years on macOS systems despite using unsophisticated and "antiquated code." Infosec firm Malwarebytes discovered Fruitfly, detected as 'OSX.Backdoor.Quimitchin,' after one of its IT administrators spotted some unusual outgoing activity from a particular Mac computer. According to the researchers, the recently discovered what they're calling "the first Mac malware of 2017" contains code that dates before OS X, which has reportedly been conducting detailed surveillance operation on targeted networks, possibly for over two years. Fruitfly uses a hidden pearl script to communicate back to two command-and-control (C&C) servers and has the ability to perform actions l

5-year-old Skype Backdoor Discovered — Mac OS X Users Urged to Update

5-year-old Skype Backdoor Discovered — Mac OS X Users Urged to Update
December 14, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Those innocent-looking apps in your smartphone can secretly spy on your communications or could allow hackers to do so. Hard to believe, but it's true. Recently, Trustwave's SpiderLabs analysts discovered a hidden backdoor in Skype for Apple's macOS and Mac OS X operating systems that could be used to spy on users' communications without their knowledge. The backdoor actually resides in the desktop Application Programming Interface (API) that allows third-party plugins and apps to communicate with Microsoft-owned Skype — the popular video chat and messaging service. Appeared to have been around since at least 2010, the backdoor could allow any malicious third-party app to bypass authentication procedure and provide nearly complete access to Skype on Mac OS X. How an Attacker can Take Complete Control of Your Skype The malicious app could bypass authentication process if they "identified themselves as the program responsible for interfacing with th

Apple Tracks Who You're Chatting Using iMessage — and Shares that Data with Police

Apple Tracks Who You're Chatting Using iMessage — and Shares that Data with Police
September 28, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Doing conversations with your friend on iMessage and thinking that they are safe and out of reach from anyone else other than you and your friend? No, it's not. End-to-end encryption doesn't mean that your iMessages are secure enough to hide your trace because Apple not only stores a lot of information about your iMessages that could reveal your contacts and location, but even share that information with law enforcement via court orders. According to a new document obtained by The Intercept , Apple records a log of which phone numbers you typed into their iPhone for a message conversation, along with the date and time when you entered those numbers as well as your IP address, which could be used to identify your location. Actually, every time a user type a phone number into their iPhone for a message conversation, iMessage contacts Apple servers to find out whether to route a given message over the iMessage system. "Apple records each query in which your phone c

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers

Warning! This Cross-Platform Malware Can Hack Windows, Linux and OS X Computers
September 08, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Unlike specially crafted malware specifically developed to take advantage of Windows operating system platform, cyber attackers have started creating cross-platform malware for wider exploitation. Due to the rise in popularity of Mac OS X and other Windows desktop alternatives, hackers have begun designing cross-platform malware modularly for wide distribution. Cross-platform malware is loaded with specialized payloads and components, allowing it to run on multiple platforms. One such malware family has recently been discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab, which run on all the key operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Stefan Ortloff, a researcher from Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team, first discovered the Linux and Windows variants of this family of cross-platform backdoor, dubbed Mokes , in January this year. Now, the researcher today confirmed the existence of an OS X variant of this malware family, explaining a technical breakd

Update your Mac OS X — Apple has released Important Security Updates

Update your Mac OS X — Apple has released Important Security Updates
September 02, 2016Swati Khandelwal
If you own a Mac laptop or desktop, you need to update your system right now. It turns out that the critical zero-day security vulnerabilities disclosed last week, which targeted iPhone and iPad users, affect Mac users as well. Late last week, Apple rolled out iOS 9.3.5 update to patch a total of three zero-day vulnerabilities that hackers could have used to remotely gain control of an iPhone by simply making the victim click a link. Dubbed "Trident," the security holes were used to create spyware (surveillance malware) called ' Pegasus ' that was apparently used to target human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor in the United Arab Emirates. Pegasus could allow an attacker to access an incredible amount of data on a target victim, including text messages, calendar entries, emails, WhatsApp messages, user's location, microphone. Pegasus Spyware could even allow an attacker to fully download victim's passwords and steal the stored list of WiFi networks,

Researcher releases Free Ransomware Detection Tool for Mac OS X Users

Researcher releases Free Ransomware Detection Tool for Mac OS X Users
April 20, 2016Mohit Kumar
In Brief: Introducing  RansomWhere , a free generic ransomware detection tool for Mac OS X users that can identify ransomware-like behavior by continually monitoring the file-system for the creation of encrypted files by suspicious processes. This ransomware detection tool helps to block the suspicious processes and waits for the user to decide whether to allow or stop the process. Ransomware has risen dramatically since last few years... so rapidly that it might have already hit someone you know. With hundred of thousands of ransomware samples emerging every day, it is quite difficult for traditional signature-based antivirus products to keep their signature database up-to-date. So, if signature-based techniques are not enough to detect ransomware infection , then what else can we do? Some Antivirus companies have already upgraded their security solutions that detect suspicious behaviors like the sequential accessing of a large number of files, using encryption algori

China wants Apple's Source Code, but the Company Refused

China wants Apple's Source Code, but the Company Refused
April 20, 2016Swati Khandelwal
In Brief Apple's head of legal has denied all rumors about providing its complete source code or any backdoor to the Chinese government. Apple officially confirmed that the Chinese government has asked Apple twice in the past two years to hand over the source code for its operating system, but the company refused in both the cases. In a Tuesday hearing entitled "Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives,"  the police officials put allegations on Apple for handing over user data to Beijing while refusing the authorities at its home in the US. However, speaking under oath at the congressional hearing, Apple's General Counsel Bruce Sewell denied the claims, saying "We have been asked by the Chinese government" for the source code behind the iPhone. But, "we refused." The response came just after Indiana State Police Captain Charles Cohen accused Apple of providing its source code to China. N

Here's the Exploit to Bypass Apple Security Feature that Fits in a Tweet

Here's the Exploit to Bypass Apple Security Feature that Fits in a Tweet
March 31, 2016Unknown
Did you install the latest update OS X 10.11.4? If yes, then you might be wondering with a fact that the Apple had delivered an ineffective patch update this time. Yes! This news would definitely disappoint many Apple users, as the latest update of OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 still contain a privilege escalation vulnerability that could affect 130 Million Apple customers. Just last week, we reported about a critical privilege escalation vulnerability  in Apple's popular System Integrity Protection (SIP) security mechanism, affecting all versions of OS X operating system. Even after Apple had fixed the critical flaw in the latest round of patches for Macs and iThings, the SIP can still be bypassed in the most recent version of operating system, leaving Apple users vulnerable to flaws that could remotely hijack their machines. SIP Bypass Exploit Code Fits in a Tweet Interestingly, Stefan Esser, a security researcher from Germany, has released a new

Mac OS X Zero-Day Exploit Can Bypass Apple's Latest Protection Feature

Mac OS X Zero-Day Exploit Can Bypass Apple's Latest Protection Feature
March 25, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A critical zero-day vulnerability has been discovered in all versions of Apple's OS X operating system that allows hackers to exploit the company’s newest protection feature and steal sensitive data from affected devices. With the release of OS X El Capitan, Apple introduced a security protection feature to the OS X kernel called System Integrity Protection ( SIP ). The feature is designed to prevent potentially malicious or bad software from modifying protected files and folders on your Mac. The purpose of SIP is to restrict the root account of OS X devices and limit the actions a root user can perform on protected parts of the system in an effort to reduce the chance of malicious code hijacking a device or performing privilege escalation. However, SentinelOne security researcher Pedro Vilaça has uncovered a critical vulnerability in both OS X and iOS that allows for local privilege escalation as well as bypasses SIP without kernel exploit, impacting all versions

Ransom32 — First JavaScript-powered Ransomware affecting Windows, Mac and Linux

Ransom32 — First JavaScript-powered Ransomware affecting Windows, Mac and Linux
January 04, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Here's New Year's first Ransomware: Ransom32 . A new Ransomware-as-a-service, dubbed Ransom32 , has been spotted that for the first time uses a ransomware written in JavaScript to infect Mac, Windows as well as Linux machines. Ransom32 allows its operators to deploy the malware very quickly and easily. It has a dashboard that enables operators to designate their Bitcoin addresses to which the ransom can be sent. The dashboard also shows stats about how much Bitcoins they have made. In short, this new ransomware-as-a-service is so simple, and efficient at the same time, that anyone can download and distribute his/her own copy of the ransomware executable as long as he/she have a Bitcoin address. The copy of Ransom32 was first analysed by Emsisoft, which found that the new ransomware family, which embedded in a self-extracting WinRAR archive, is using the NW.js platform for infiltrating the victims' computers, and then holding their files by encrypting the

13 Million MacKeeper Users Hacked — 21 GB of Data Exposed

13 Million MacKeeper Users Hacked — 21 GB of Data Exposed
December 15, 2015Mohit Kumar
MacKeeper anti-virus company is making headlines today for its lax security that exposed the database of 13 Million Mac users' records including names, email addresses, usernames, password hashes, IP addresses, phone numbers, and system information. MacKeeper is a suite of software that claims to make Apple Macs more secure and stable, but today the anti-virus itself need some extra protection after a data breach exposed the personal and sensitive information for Millions of its customers. The data breach was discovered by Chris Vickery , a white hat hacker who was able to download 13 Million customer records by simply entering a selection of IP addresses, with no username or password required to access the data. 21 GB Trove of MacKeeper Customer Data Leaked 31-year-old Vickery said he uncovered the 21 GB trove of MacKeeper customer data in a moment of boredom while searching for openly accessible databases on Shodan – a specialized search engine that looks fo

VirusTotal now Scans Mac OS X Apps for Malware

VirusTotal now Scans Mac OS X Apps for Malware
November 19, 2015Mohit Kumar
Do Mac Computers Get Viruses? Yes, Of Course, they do!  According to stats, malware for MAC OS X has appeared five times more in 2015 alone than the previous five years combined. As malware for Macs is becoming more common, Google has decided to add support for Mac  OS X malware detection to its VirusTotal web-based service. VirusTotal — launched in 2004 and acquired by Google in 2012 — is a free and popular online service for security researchers and Hackers that lets you upload files to check them for viruses. VirusTotal scans uploaded files with more than 55 different Antivirus products and Online scan engines to provide a combined report on the results. VirusTotal also runs certain ' Windows PE files and Android apps ' files in the Sandbox , a controlled research environment used for malware analysis. According to the recent announcement, VirusTotal will also be able to execute suspicious Mac executable files inside its Sandbox environment

AirDrop Bug in Apple iOS and OSX allows Hackers to Install Malware Silently

AirDrop Bug in Apple iOS and OSX allows Hackers to Install Malware Silently
September 16, 2015Swati Khandelwal
With the launch of iOS 9, Apple gave us an ultimate reason to upgrade our Apple devices to its new operating system. The latest iOS 9 includes a security update for a nasty bug that could be exploited to take full control of your iPhone or Macs, forcing most of the Apple users to download the latest update. Australian security researcher Mark Dowd has disclosed a serious vulnerability in AirDrop , Apple's over-the-air file sharing service built into iOS and Mac OS X. How the Attack Works? The vulnerability allows anyone within the range of an AirDrop user to silently install a malicious app on a target Apple device by sending an AirDrop file which involves rebooting of the target device. An attacker can exploit this critical bug even if the victim rejects the incoming file sent over AirDrop. After rebooting takes place, the malicious app gains access to Springboard, Apple's software to manage iOS home screen, allowing the app to fool the victim’s iP

Apple Mac OS X Hits by Two Unpatched Zero-day Flaws

Apple Mac OS X Hits by Two Unpatched Zero-day Flaws
August 19, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Few days after Apple patched the DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE privilege-escalation vulnerability in OS X Yosemite, hackers have their hands on another zero-day bug in its operating system that allows hackers to gain root privileges to Mac computers. Italian teenager Luca Todesco ( @qwertyoruiop ) has discovered two unknown zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple's Mac OS X operating system that could potentially be exploited to gain remote access to a Mac computer. The 18-year-old self-described hacker has also posted details of his finding with source code for an exploit on the Github repository , as well as software to mitigate the vulnerability. OS X Zero-Day Exploit in the Wild The hacker's exploit makes use of two system flaws (which he dubbed ' tpwn ') in order to cause a memory corruption in OS X's kernel . Due to memory corruption, it's possible to circumvent the space layout randomization of the kernel address, therefore bypassing the toughe

Thunderstrike 2: World's First Firmware Worm That Infects Mac Computers Without Detection

Thunderstrike 2: World's First Firmware Worm That Infects Mac Computers Without Detection
August 05, 2015Mohit Kumar
If you think Apple’s Mac computers are much more secure than Windows-powered systems, you need to think again. This isn’t true, and security researchers have finally proved it. Two security researchers have developed a proof-of-concept computer worm for the first time that can spread automatically between MacBooks, without any need for them to be networked. Dubbed Thunderstrike 2 , the new proof-of-concept firmware attack is inspired by previously developed proof-of-concept firmware called Thunderstrike. Thunderstrike Attack , developed by security engineer Trammell Hudson, actually took advantage of a vulnerability in Thunderbolt Option ROM that could be used to infect Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) by allocating a malicious code into the boot ROM of an Apple computer through infected Thunderbolt devices. Thunderstrike 2 Spreads Remotely Although the original Thunderstrike required an attacker to have physical access to your Mac computer to work, t

Unpatched Mac OS X Zero-day Bug Allows Root Access Without Password

Unpatched Mac OS X Zero-day Bug Allows Root Access Without Password
August 04, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Hackers have their hands on something of your concern. A severe zero-day vulnerability in the latest, fully patched version of Apple's Mac OS X is reportedly being exploited in the wild by the hackers. The vulnerability could allow attackers to install malware and adware onto a target Mac, running OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) operating system, without requiring victims to enter system passwords , a new report says. The zero-day bug came over a week after security researcher Stefan Esser discovered a privilege escalation zero-day vulnerability in the latest version of Apple's OS X Yosemite that caused due to environment variable DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE and dynamic linker dyld , new error-logging features added to the operating system. The developers failed to implement standard safeguards that are needed while adding support for new environment variables to the OS X dynamic linker dyld, allowing hackers to create or modify files with root privileges that can fit anywhere i

Untethered TaiG Jailbreak Tool for iOS 8.4 [Mac OS X version] Released

Untethered TaiG Jailbreak Tool for iOS 8.4 [Mac OS X version] Released
August 03, 2015Wang Wei
Good news for iOS 8.4 users! The Chinese jailbreaking team TaiG has finally released its long-awaited Untethered Jailbreak tool for Apple's iOS 8.4 mobile operating system for the Mac OS X platform. Yes, TaiG Jailbreak is now officially available for OS X users that will allow you to jailbreak iOS 8.4 on your Mac computer without having to resort to using a virtual machine. In late June, the TaiG team released the Jailbreak tool (.exe) only for Windows version, forcing Macs users to rely on other applications or use Boot Camp to tweak their iOS devices. TaiG Jailbreak for Mac, currently at Mac version 1.0.0, is designed from the ground up to support versions of iOS mobile operating system from 8.1.3 to 8.4. You can download the tool from the project's website. How to JailBreak your Device? The process of jailbreaking the device is so easy; anyone can do it. Download and Install the App Disable ‘Find My iPhone’ on your device’s iCloud settings before p
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