Apple will be celebrating the new year with a 15-year-old vulnerability found in MacOS uncovered by a security researchers.
It comes after a catastrophic flaw found in MacOS 10.13 was recently publicised and patched.
While the flaw isn't devastating, it will add to the tide of 'challenging' news that the company is entering the new year with. Hardware tech site Wccftech.com, which broke the story, described the flaw as "sloppy".
The researcher claims that cyber crooks can tap into the flaw to potentially obtain access to MacOS systems and execute arbitrary code. They can also get root permissions, enabling them to take full control.
Described as a local privilege escalation (LPE) vulnerability, it affects an extension of MacOS called IOHIDFamily. Hackers are able to deploy a "root shell".
Attackers can also use the vulnerability to target the System Integrity Protection (SIP) and Apple Mobile File Integrity (AMFI) security programs.
For an attack to be fully successful, hackers will have to log users out of the system. By that point, it's likely most users should have noticed that something has gone awry.
There is a sneaky side of the vulnerability, though. To avoid detection, attackers can target the exploit when users shut down or restart their computers.
The researcher continued: "Needs to be running on the host already (nothing remote), achieves full system compromise by itself, but logs you out in the process.
"Can wait for logout though and is fast enough to run on shutdown/reboot until 10.13.1. On 10.13.2 it takes a fair bit longer (maybe half a minute) after logging out, so if your OS logs you out unexpectedly… maybe pull the plug?"
The vulnerability doesn't affect other Apple products, including iOS. The company has yet to comment on the situation, and you can find more details here.
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