macOS High Sierra Automatically Performs Security Check on EFI Firmware Each Week

Monday September 25, 2017 8:14 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol

Mac users who upgrade to macOS High Sierra will benefit from a significant new security feature that works in the background.


macOS High Sierra automatically checks a Mac's EFI firmware against Apple's database of "known good" data to ensure it hasn't been tampered with, according to a series of tweets from an Apple engineer.

The tweets have since been deleted, but a summary remains available on the Mac blog The Eclectic Light Company.

The new utility eficheck, located in /usr/libexec/firmwarecheckers/eficheck, runs automatically once a week. It checks that Mac's firmware against Apple's database of what is known to be good. If it passes, you will see nothing of this, but if there are discrepancies, you will be invited to send a report to Apple.

If the check fails, a prompt will appear with options to "Send to Apple" or "Don't Send." The selection is remembered in subsequent weeks.


The "eficheck" tool sends the binary data from the EFI firmware, and preserves user privacy by excluding data which is stored in NVRAM, according to The Eclectic Light Company. Apple will then be able to analyze the data to determine whether it has been altered by malware or anything else.

The database's library will be automatically and silently updated so long as security updates are turned on.

EFI, which stands for Extensible Firmware Interface, bridges a Mac's hardware, firmware, and operating system together to enable it to go from power-on to booting macOS.

macOS High Sierra will be publicly released on the Mac App Store later today.

Tags: security, EFI

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
33 months ago
Huh, I wonder what this will mean for Hackintosh?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

Huh, I wonder what this will mean for Hackintosh?

Probably nothing at all.
Will just make actual Macs more secure.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
This is great news as it should help to guard against any sort of tampering which might result through a bad actor having temporary physical access to a machine such as at a border security point.

I honestly don't believe that Hackintoshes are being targeted here but if increasing legitimate Mac security results in Hackintoshes having a few bumps in the road then so be it IMO.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
Spoken like a government. This is probably not to fight malware but to fight hackintoshs.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

This sounds like a way to get rid of Hackintoshes.

Huh, I wonder what this will mean for Hackintosh?

This doesn’t affect hackintoshes. HS is working on them just fine. (The Apple employee who posted the original tweets even said don’t send in your data if you’re on a hack, because it’s useless to them.)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/25/macos-high-sierra-weekly-efi-security-check/')


Mac users who upgrade to macOS High Sierra will benefit from a significant new security feature that works in the background.



macOS High Sierra automatically checks a Mac's EFI firmware against Apple's database of "known good" data to ensure it hasn't been tampered with, according to a series of tweets from an Apple engineer.

The tweets have since been deleted, but a summary remains available on the Mac blog The Eclectic Light Company ('https://eclecticlight.co/2017/09/24/high-sierra-automatically-checks-efi-firmware-each-week/').If the check fails, a prompt will appear with options to "Send to Apple" or "Don't Send." The selection is remembered in subsequent weeks.



The "eficheck" tool sends the binary data from the EFI firmware, and preserves user privacy by excluding data which is stored in NVRAM, according to The Eclectic Light Company. Apple will then be able to analyze the data to determine whether it has been altered by malware or anything else.

The database's library will be automatically and silently updated so long as security updates are turned on.

macOS High Sierra will be publicly released on the Mac App Store later today.

Article Link: macOS High Sierra Automatically Performs Security Check on EFI Firmware Each Week ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/25/macos-high-sierra-weekly-efi-security-check/')

This sounds like a way to get rid of Hackintoshes.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch as Soon as Tomorrow

Thursday April 2, 2020 4:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new low-cost iPhone is set to launch as early as Friday, April 3, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites a tip from a "highly trusted reader." The site says that while it can't be certain about the launch date, "Apple could reveal and begin taking orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow." The iPhone 8 Apple is said to be planning to call the new iPhone, which is...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

Apple Paid Hacker $75,000 for Uncovering Zero-Day Camera Exploits in Safari

Friday April 3, 2020 3:58 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple paid out $75,000 to a hacker for identifying multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in its software, some of which could be used to hijack the camera on a MacBook or an iPhone, according to Forbes. A zero-day vulnerability refers to a security hole in software that is unknown to the software developer and the public, although it may already be known by attackers who are quietly exploiting...

iPhone 8 Screen Protector Updated With 'iPhone SE' Compatibility on Apple's Online Store

Thursday April 2, 2020 8:10 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Another clue has surfaced to suggest that Apple's rumored lower-cost iPhone SE successor will likely be released soon. Earlier today, a product listing for a Belkin screen protector on Apple's online store was updated to reflect compatibility with not only the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, but also the iPhone SE. Given the original iPhone SE was a 4-inch device, and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...