Mac Data Loss Vulnerabilities Discovered

There is news today on potential data loss vulnerabilities in Mac OS and in Apple's notebook drives manufactured by Seagate.

The vulnerability involving the Mac OS was first documented by Tom Karpik.

Leopards Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in action. I first came across it when Samba crashed while I was moving a directory from my desktop over to a Samba mount on my FreeBSD server.

Ive now run tests on a Windows XP SP2 SMB mount, as well as a local HFS+ formatted USB drive, and the bug surfaces every time the destination disappears while the Finder is moving something to the destination.

The bug is claimed to have existed as far back as Mac OS 10.3 Panther, though the site focuses mainly on Mac OS 10.5 "Leopard."

The other data loss vulnerability surrounds Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro computers that utilize certain Seagate drives. UK data recovery firm Retrodata discovered a flaw where the read/write head fails and causes gouges in the hard drive platter.

The faulty drives are all Seagate 2.5" drives that are manufactured in China, with a Firmware revision of 7.01. They are also all SATA interface. No other drives seem (at this stage) to be affected.

Retrodata discovered the flaw due to the sheer volume of recovery requests of the particular drive, and strongly suggests that Apple take appropriate action, possibly including a product recall.

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