Bypass Flaw in Newly Released macOS Mojave Update Lets Hackers Access Protected Files

Researcher Patrick Wardle, who has uncovered many security flaws in Apple's macOS operating system, today shared some details on a new vulnerability that he's found in the newly released macOS Mojave update.

As outlined by BleepingComputer, Wardle discovered that he was able to access Contacts data from the address book using an unprivileged app, as demonstrated in the video below.


According to Wardle, the vulnerability is a result of the way that Apple implemented new macOS privacy protections in the Mojave update.

"I found a trivial, albeit 100% reliable flaw in their implementation," he told us, adding that it allows a malicious or untrusted app to bypass the new security mechanism and access the sensitive details without authorization.

The bypass does not work with all of the new privacy protection features in macOS Mojave, and hardware-based components, such as the webcam, are not affected. Full details on the vulnerability are not available yet, as Wardle plans to share technical details in November.

In the macOS Mojave update, Apple made a change that requires explicit user consent for apps to access location data, camera, contacts, calendars, reminders, messages history, Safari data, mail databases, and other sensitive data, which should prevent the vulnerability that Wardle demonstrates.


Apple will undoubtedly address the security flaw discovered by Wardle in an upcoming update to macOS Mojave.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
26 months ago
As a security researcher professional, this is entirely inappropriate. He should have contacted Apple during the beta release cycle and gotten it fixed. If Apple needs more time to fix it, and is aware of the issue, then you keep the vulnerability under wraps so that other hackers do not exploit your vulnerability while it has no fix.

The only reason to publish a vulnerability with no fix is if the vendor WILL NOT FIX the vulnerability. I doubt that is the case here. This Wardle is seeking attention, and should be looked down upon.

See the guys listed here? These are the true professionals, they did it right.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209139
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
why come forward today and not earlier that Apple can fix this before Mojave release ? i wonder...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

Why dont they do proper testing?

Yeah they should have a beta program or something with a feedback app, then this would’ve been discovered months ago :rolleyes:
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Why dont they do proper testing? A bit embarrassing for a trillion dollar company.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
It requires the Mac to be unlocked in the first place, so this isn’t the worst security flaw in the world.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Oh goodie, now we can have all of the usual suspects flock here to take a **** on Apple
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....