A brand-new susceptability has just been discovered in all Macs that are more than a years of age, and the threats connected with it are truly troubling if an individual handles to exploit it. Obviously, a hacker could take permanent control of the device, where format and reinstalling OS X would not make a distinction either.

Pedro Vilaca is a well-known OS X security scientist, and he states that Macs that were delivered earlier than Q3 of 2014 remain susceptible, and are the ones that can go into sleep mode. As pointed out by ArsTechnica, Vilaca “found a method to reflash a Mac’s BIOS using capability consisted of in userland, which is the part of an operating system where set up applications and motorists are executed.” According to Vilaca, enemies can quickly make use of vulnerabilities that are frequently found in Safari and other Internet browsers to install harmful firmware which “makes it through tough drive reformatting and reinstallation of the operating system.”


In 2013 we saw how the Thunderstrike exploit might install permanent backdoors onto a Mac if anyone could briefly access an elliptical trainer. A hugely concerning exploit, it was thought that factoring in the have to physically access a Mac implied that the danger would not be spread out on a big scale. However, this recently discovered vulnerability enables an assailant to do all that, but the key difference is that it can be done remotely and proximity is not a concern here.

Vilaca says that for all this to work, the elliptical trainer needs to be in suspended or sleep mode, and while there’s nothing much users can do at this point to avoid an attack, disabling sleep mode will be a smart idea to start with. “The only requirement is that a suspended occurred [sic] in the present session. I have not looked into but you could probably require the suspend and cause this, all from another location. That’s very epic ownage;–RRB-.”


As for how major can this issue be for the average consumer, it is believed that like the Thunderstrike, attacks utilizing this exploit will be extremely restricted and intended at extremely high-value targets, those that the opponents understand about and have a high interest in. Meanwhile, the exploit has actually been checked to deal with “MacBook Pro Retina, a MacBook Pro 8,2, and a MacBook Air, all running newest EFI firmware readily available. And each and every single one is vulnerable.”

(via: ArsTechnica)

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