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

Apple will let users run iOS apps on macOS

Apple will let users run iOS apps on macOS

June 06, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Apple is making it easier for mobile developers to port their iOS apps to the next-generation macOS Mojave desktop platform—a major step in bringing the two platforms closer together. However, at the same time, the company straightforward denied the idea of merging the iPhone and Mac operating systems into one platform, which was being speculated for years. So, Apple made it clear that iOS and macOS will continue to be separate products. Rumors of iOS apps coming to the Mac have been around since 2017, and yesterday at Apple's WWDC 2018 event, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi just confirmed this while concluding his keynote. Though iOS and macOS share similar underlying frameworks, both are separate operating systems with their own separate software libraries, called UIKit used by iOS and AppKit used by macOS, which have made porting iOS apps to Mac difficult, said Federighi. "iOS devices and macOS devices of course are different
Apple Plans to Replace Intel Chips in Macs with its Custom Designed CPUs

Apple Plans to Replace Intel Chips in Macs with its Custom Designed CPUs

April 03, 2018Mohit Kumar
In a major blow to Intel, Apple is reportedly planning to use its custom-designed ARM chips in Mac computers starting as early as 2020, ultimately replacing the Intel processors running on its desktop and laptop hardware. The company makes its own A-series custom chips for iPhones, iPads and other iThings, while the Mac devices use Intel x64 silicon. Now according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple plans to replace Intel's Mac chips with its own homegrown CPUs. The report says Apple executives have a project, codenamed " Kalamata ," that designs desktop-grade Arm-compatible processors, along with a macOS port, allowing the company to craft a uniform architecture across all of its product lines. The report also says this changeover would be part of a "multi-step transition" to make iOS devices and Macs "work more similarly and seamlessly together," helping Apple's plan (project codename ' Marzipan ') to bring iOS apps to Mac for sof
Apple macOS Bug Reveals Passwords for APFS Encrypted Volumes in Plaintext

Apple macOS Bug Reveals Passwords for APFS Encrypted Volumes in Plaintext

March 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A severe programming bug has been found in APFS file system for macOS High Sierra operating system that exposes passwords of encrypted external drives in plain text. Introduced two years ago, APFS ( Apple File System ) is an optimized file system for flash and SSD-based storage solutions running MacOS, iOS, tvOS or WatchOS, and promises strong encryption and better performance. Discovered by forensic analyst Sarah Edwards, the bug leaves encryption password for a newly created APFS volume (e.g., encrypting USB drive using Disk Utility) in the unified logs in plaintext, as well as while encrypting previously created but unencrypted volumes. "Why is this a big deal? Well, passwords stored in plaintext can be discovered by anyone with unauthorized access to your machine, and malware can collect log files as well and send them off to someone with malicious intent," Edwards said. The password for an encrypted APFS volume can easily be retrieved by running following sim
15-Year-Old Apple macOS 0-Day Kernel Flaw Disclosed, Allows Root Access

15-Year-Old Apple macOS 0-Day Kernel Flaw Disclosed, Allows Root Access

January 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A security researcher on New Year's eve made public the details of an unpatched security vulnerability in Apple's macOS operating system that can be exploited to take complete control of a system. On the first day of 2018, a researcher using the online moniker Siguza released the details of the unpatched zero-day macOS vulnerability, which he suggests is at least 15 years old, and proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code on GitHub . The bug is a serious local privilege escalation (LPE) vulnerability that could enable an unprivileged user (attacker) to gain root access on the targeted system and execute malicious code. Malware designed to exploit this flaw could fully install itself deep within the system. From looking at the source, Siguza believes this vulnerability has been around since at least 2002, but some clues suggest the flaw could actually be ten years older than that. "One tiny, ugly bug. Fifteen years. Full system compromise," he wrote. This local p
Apple macOS High Sierra Bug Exposes Passwords of Encrypted APFS Volumes As Hint

Apple macOS High Sierra Bug Exposes Passwords of Encrypted APFS Volumes As Hint

October 06, 2017Unknown
A severe programming error has been discovered in Apple's latest macOS High Sierra 10.13 that exposes passwords of encrypted Apple File System (APFS) volumes in plain text. Reported by Matheus Mariano, a Brazilian software developer, the vulnerability affects encrypted volumes using APFS wherein the password hint section is showing the actual password in the plain text. Yes, you got that right—your Mac mistakenly reveals the actual password instead of the password hint. In September, Apple released macOS High Sierra 10.13 with APFS (Apple File System) as the default file system for solid-state drives (SSDs) and other all-flash storage devices, promising strong encryption and better performance. Mariano discovered the security issue while he was using the Disk Utility in macOS High Sierra to add a new encrypted APFS volume to a container. When adding a new volume, he was asked to set a password and, optionally, write a hint for it. So, whenever the new volume is mounted, m
Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks

Millions of Up-to-Date Apple Macs Remain Vulnerable to EFI Firmware Hacks

September 29, 2017Unknown
" Always keep your operating system and software up-to-date ." This is one of the most popular and critical advice that every security expert strongly suggests you to follow to prevent yourself from major cyber attacks. However, even if you attempt to install every damn software update that lands to your system, there is a good chance of your computer remaining outdated and vulnerable. Researchers from security firm Duo Labs analysed over 73,000 Macs systems and discovered that a surprising number of Apple Mac computers either fails to install patches for EFI firmware vulnerabilities or doesn't receive any update at all. Apple uses Intel-designed Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) for Mac computers that work at a lower level than a computer's OS and hypervisors—and controls the boot process. EFI runs before macOS boots up and has higher-level privileges that, if exploited by attackers, could allow EFI malware to control everything without being detecte
Apple macOS High Sierra Exploit Lets Hackers Steal Keychain Passwords in Plaintext

Apple macOS High Sierra Exploit Lets Hackers Steal Keychain Passwords in Plaintext

September 26, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Apple yesterday rolled out a new version of its macOS operating system, dubbed High Sierra 10.13 —a few hours before an ex-NSA hacker publicly disclosed the details of a critical vulnerability that affects High Sierra as well as all earlier versions of macOS. Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker and now head of research at security firm Synack, found a critical zero-day vulnerability in macOS that could allow any installed application to steal usernames and plaintext passwords of online accounts stored in the Mac Keychain. The macOS Keychain is a built-in password management system that helps Apple users securely store passwords for applications, servers, websites, cryptographic keys and credit card numbers—which can be accessed using only a user-defined master password. Typically no application can access the contents of Keychain unless the user enters the master password. "I discovered a flaw where malicious non-privileged code (or apps) could programmatically access th
Website of Popular Mac Software Hacked to Spread Malware

Website of Popular Mac Software Hacked to Spread Malware

May 08, 2017Swati Khandelwal
If you have recently downloaded the popular open source video transcoder app HandBrake on your Mac, there are chances that your computer is infected with a notorious Remote Access Trojan (RAT). The HandBrake team issued a security alert on Saturday, warning Mac users that one of its mirror servers to download the software has been compromised by hackers. In case you aren't aware, HandBrake is an open source video transcoder app that allows Mac users to convert multimedia files from one format to another. According to the HandBrake team, an unknown hacker or group of hackers compromised the download mirror server (download.handbrake.fr) and then replaced the Mac version of the HandBrake client (HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg) with a malicious version infected with a new variant of Proton . Originally discovered in February on a Russian underground hacking forum, Proton is a Mac-based remote access trojan that gives attackers root access privileges to the infected system. The af
New MacOS Malware, Signed With Legit Apple ID, Found Spying On HTTPS Traffic

New MacOS Malware, Signed With Legit Apple ID, Found Spying On HTTPS Traffic

April 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Many people believe that they are much less likely to be bothered by malware if they use a Mac computer, but is it really true? Unfortunately, No. According to the McAfee Labs , malware attacks on Apple's Mac computers were up 744% in 2016, and its researchers have discovered nearly 460,000 Mac malware samples, which is still just a small part of overall Mac malware out in the wild. Today, Malware Research team at CheckPoint have discovered a new piece of fully-undetectable Mac malware, which according to them, affects all versions of Mac OS X, has zero detections on VirusTotal and is "signed with a valid developer certificate (authenticated by Apple)." Dubbed DOK , the malware is being distributed via a coordinated email phishing campaign and, according to the researchers, is the first major scale malware to target macOS users. The malware has been designed to gain administrative privileges and install a new root certificate on the target system, which allows
Wikileaks Reveals How CIA Was Hacking Your iPhones And MacBooks

Wikileaks Reveals How CIA Was Hacking Your iPhones And MacBooks

March 23, 2017Swati Khandelwal
As part of its " Vault 7 " series, Wikileaks — the popular whistle-blowing platform — has just released another batch of classified documents focused on exploits and hacking techniques the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) designed to target Apple MacOS and iOS devices. Dubbed " Dark Matter ," the leak uncovers macOS vulnerabilities and attack vectors developed by a special division of the CIA called Embedded Development Branch (EDB) – the same branch that created ‘ Weeping Angel ’ attack – and focused specifically on hacking Mac and iOS firmware. CIA Infects Apple Devices With Unremovable Malware The newly released documents revealed that CIA had also been targeting the iPhone since 2008. The Agency has created a malware that is specially designed to infect Apple firmware in a way that the infection remains active on MacOS and iOS devices even if the operating system has been re-installed. According to Wikileaks, the released documents also gives a c
Critical Flaw in ESET Antivirus Exposes Mac Users to Remote Hacking

Critical Flaw in ESET Antivirus Exposes Mac Users to Remote Hacking

February 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
What could be more exciting for hackers than exploiting a vulnerability in a widely used software without having to struggle too much? One such easy-to-exploit, but critical vulnerability has been discovered in ESET's antivirus software that could allow any unauthenticated attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code with root privileges on a Mac system. The critical security flaw, tracked as CVE-2016-9892, in ESET Endpoint Antivirus 6 for macOS was discovered by Google Security Team's researchers Jason Geffner and Jan Bee at the beginning of November 2016. As detailed in the full disclosure , all a hacker needs to get root-level remote code execution on a Mac computer is to intercept the ESET antivirus package's connection to its backend servers using a self-signed HTTPS certificate, put himself in as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacker, and exploit an XML library flaw. The actual issue was related to a service named esets_daemon, which runs as root. The service
Watch Out! First-Ever Word Macro Malware for Apple Mac OS Discovered in the Wild

Watch Out! First-Ever Word Macro Malware for Apple Mac OS Discovered in the Wild

February 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
After targeting Windows-based computers over the past few years, hackers are now shifting their interest to Macs as well. The emergence of the first macro-based Word document attack against Apple's macOS platform is the latest example to prove this. The concept of Macros dates back to 1990s. You might be familiar with the message that reads: " Warning: This document contains macros. " Macro is a series of commands and actions that help automate some tasks. Microsoft Office programs support Macros written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), but they can also be used for malicious activities like installing malware. Until now, hackers were cleverly using this technique to target Windows. However, security researchers have now detected the first in-the-wild instance of hackers are making use of malicious macros in Word documents to install malware on Mac computers and steal your data – an old Windows technique. The hack tricks victims into opening infected W
Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe

Mac Malware Can Secretly Spy On Your Webcam and Mic – Here's How to Stay Safe

October 06, 2016Mohit Kumar
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be much safer than Windows at keeping viruses and malware out of its environment, but that’s simply not true anymore. It's not because Mac OS X is getting worse every day, but because hackers are getting smart and sophisticated these days. The bad news for Mac users is that malware targeting webcams and microphones has now come up for Mac laptops as well. Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA staffer who heads up research at security intelligence firm Synack, discovered a way for Mac malware to tap into your live feeds from Mac's built-in webcam and microphone to locally record you even without detection. Wardle is the same researcher who has discovered a number of security weaknesses in Apple products, including ways to bypass the Gatekeeper protections in OS X. Wardle also released a free tool called RansomWhere? earlier this year that has generic detection capabilities for Mac OS X ransomware variants. Wardle is scheduled to present h
Apple starts downloading MacOS Sierra automatically to your MacBook — Here's How to Stop It

Apple starts downloading MacOS Sierra automatically to your MacBook — Here's How to Stop It

October 05, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Are you experiencing slow Internet speed on your MacBook today? — It's not just you! Here's Why: Following in Microsoft's footsteps , Apple has started " pre-downloading " the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS 10.12 Sierra, in the background, if you are still running OS X El Capitan. If you have automatic downloads enabled on your Mac, a large file of around 5GB will mysteriously be downloaded to your computer in the background, using your Internet bandwidth for unrequested files. Apple justifies this move by saying that the automatic download would make it easier for users to get the newest operating system, encouraging them to update their Macs. The good news, however, is that the update will not install automatically without your permission. Once downloaded automatically in the background, users who are running OS X El Capitan version 10.11.5 or later will receive a notification that says macOS Sierra is ready to be installed.
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,
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
Hey, Apple User! Check If You are also Affected by the Sparkle Vulnerability

Hey, Apple User! Check If You are also Affected by the Sparkle Vulnerability

February 12, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A pair of new security vulnerabilities has been discovered in the framework used by a wide variety of Mac apps leaves them open to Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks. The framework in question is Sparkle that a large number of third-party OS X apps, including Camtasia, uTorrent, Duet Display and Sketch, use to facilitate automatic updates in the background. Sparkle is an open source software available on GitHub under the permissive MIT license by the Sparkle Project with the help of numerous of valuable contributors. The framework supports Mac OS X versions 10.7 through 10.11 and Xcode 5.0 through 7.0. The Sparkle vulnerabilities, discovered by Radek, a security researcher, in late January and reported by Ars reporter, affect Apple Mac apps that use: An outdated and vulnerable version of the Sparkle updater framework. An unencrypted HTTP channel to receive info from update servers. What's the Issue? The first loophole is due to the improper implemen
Apple's Mac OS X Still Open to Malware, Thanks Gatekeeper

Apple's Mac OS X Still Open to Malware, Thanks Gatekeeper

January 16, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be much safer than Windows computers at keeping out the viruses and malware, but the new Exploit discovered by researchers again proves it indeed quite false. Last year, The Hacker News reported a deadly simple exploit that completely bypassed one of the core security features in Mac OS X known as Gatekeeper . Apple released a patch in November, but now the same security researcher who discovered the original Gatekeeper bypass vulnerability said he found an equally obvious workaround. Patrick Wardle, ex-NSA staffer and head of research at security intelligence firm Synack, said the security patch released by Apple was " incredibly weak " and that the update was " easy to bypass " in minutes. Gatekeeper's Failure Once Again Introduced in July of 2012, Gatekeeper is Apple's anti-malware feature designed to block untrusted, dodgy apps from running, keeping Mac OS X systems safe from malware. Ho
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
Deadly Simple Exploit Bypasses Apple Gatekeeper Security to Install Malicious Apps

Deadly Simple Exploit Bypasses Apple Gatekeeper Security to Install Malicious Apps

October 01, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Apple Mac Computers are considered to be invulnerable to malware, but the new Exploit discovered by security researchers proves it indeed quite false. Patrick Wardle , director of research at security firm Synack , has found a deadly simple way that completely bypass one of the core security features in Mac OS X i.e.  Gatekeeper . Introduced in July of 2012, Gatekeeper is Apple's anti-malware feature designed to keep untrusted and malicious applications from wreaking havoc on Macs. However, Wardle has found a quick and simple way to trick Gatekeeper into letting malicious apps through on Mac OS X machines, even if the protection is set to open apps downloaded only from the Mac App Store. According to the researcher, before allowing any apps to execute on an OS X machine, Gatekeeper performs a number of checks, such as: Checking the initial digital certificate of a downloaded app Ensuring the app has been signed with an Apple-recognized developer certificat
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