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

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Avatar
20 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
20 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
20 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
20 months ago
Why dont they do proper testing? A bit embarrassing for a trillion dollar company.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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20 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
20 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)

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