Apple Pushes Another Automatic Mac Software Update to Address Further Zoom-Related Vulnerabilities

Apple today pushed a second silent security update to Macs to address further vulnerabilities related to the Zoom video conferencing app for macOS, reports The Verge.

Apple removed software that was installed by RingCentral and Zhumu, two video conferencing apps that relied on technology from Zoom and were also found to have the same vulnerabilities as Zoom earlier this week.

zoom logo
These two apps installed software able to respond to commands that could potentially allow websites to open up your webcam during a video conference without permission. Removing the apps did not remove the secondary software that was vulnerable to exploitation, which is also how Zoom worked.

Discovered last week, the Zoom vulnerability let a website forcibly initiate a video call on a Mac with the Zoom app installed, due to a web server that Zoom installed in the background.

When the vulnerability was first discovered, Zoom said that it used a local web server as a workaround to Safari changes that Apple introduced in Safari 12, calling it a "legitimate solution" to an otherwise "poor user experience" that allowed users to access "seamless, one-click-to-join meetings."

At issue was a new popup Apple implemented to require user approval when launching a third-party app, which Zoom wanted to avoid. Zoom did so through the aforementioned web server, which was designed to wait for calls to open up Zoom conferences automatically.

Zoom eventually released a patch to address the issue, and Apple also took the step of removing web server software that was not initially removed from the Mac when uninstalling the Zoom app. Zoom has since made it so uninstalling the Zoom app will remove the web server, and has made other changes.

Installing Zoom no longer installs a local web server on Mac devices, and there is a new setting to save the "Always turn off my video" preference that disables video in Zoom by default until it is manually enabled.

As with the original Zoom patch, the new patch for RingCentral and Zhumu is deployed automatically so that users are not required to apply it manually for it to take effect. Apple told The Verge that it plans to fix the vulnerability for all of Zoom's partner apps.

Tag: Zoom

Top Rated Comments

BWhaler Avatar
23 months ago
NO

It was NOT discovered last week.

ZOOM was informed months ago, decided not to fix the patch because it would lower their value proposition and product strategy. Again, they chose to leave the security hole open for their business gain.

Two weeks ago was when the researcher got fed up and disclosed it to the public. Only then did Zoom jump into PR mode and fox the problem.

Apple, god bless them, learned of this and shut the exploit down. No point waiting for an unethical company. What else does Zoom know about they still haven’t disclosed?

MacRumors writers, do your job. Don’t let unethical companies spin or this behavior will never go away.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arkmannj Avatar
23 months ago
Even if you discount the security issues... thanks companies for installing a 24x7 service consuming resources just to avoid a potential CLICK.

Good on Apple for pushing out the updates to help mitigate the stupidity of these companies.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
23 months ago
Any chance you’re willing to share your script? :) It’s a shame that you’d even need to make something like that, especially having to run regularly.
Here it is, warts and all (replace "{username1}, {username2}, etc. with actual user accounts of course).

* There should really be some error checking added to this, for example it shouldn't try to move the files if it's unable to create the "-unused" directories.
* Released under the "you break it, you get to keep both pieces" license


#!/bin/bash -f

#
# Cleans out all the cruft that Adobe, Microsoft, and Google try to hide
# in the Launch* directories. This script works from the command line, but
# it's mainly intended for use as a cron job.
#
# Needs to be run with sudo, or as root
#
#
# Changelog: Added Skype to the list 2018-12-03 TLS
#
# Initial script written 2018-08-15 TLS
#

if [ $USER != "root" ] ; then
echo "Error - needs to be run with root permissions (you are $USER). Please use sudo."
exit 1;
fi

DIRECTORY_LIST=(
"/Library/LaunchAgents"
"/Library/LaunchDaemons"
"/Users/{username1}/Library/LaunchAgents"
"/Users/{username2}/Library/LaunchAgents"
)
UNWANTED_LAUNCHERS_LIST=(
"com.adobe.*"
"com.citrix.*"
"com.google.*"
"com.lifescan.*"
"com.microsoft.*"
"com.skype.*"
)

for THIS_DIR in ${DIRECTORY_LIST* } ; do
if [ ! -d $THIS_DIR ] ; then
continue
fi
STORAGE_DIR="$THIS_DIR-unused"
if [ ! -d $STORAGE_DIR ] ; then
mkdir $STORAGE_DIR
fi
for THIS_GLOB in ${UNWANTED_LAUNCHERS_LIST* } ; do
find $THIS_DIR -maxdepth 1 -type f -iname $THIS_GLOB -exec mv \{\} $STORAGE_DIR \;
done
done
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
23 months ago
Even if you discount the security issues... thanks companies for installing a 24x7 service consuming resources just to avoid a potential CLICK.
Yeah, this is a problem - even setting aside security concerns. All sorts of companies add superfluous scripts to our system's LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders, usually for no good reason. Adobe, Citrix, Google, Microsoft, etc. Maybe each one doesn't normally chew up much memory, but the effect is cumulative... and sometimes those processes run away.

I actually have a "cleanup unwanted launchers" bash script running as a cron job on all my Macs. It runs each hour and moves the cruft any of these companies (and a couple others) placed into the various LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders into LaunchAgents-unused and LaunchDaemons-unused, respectively.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
23 months ago
Automatic silent OS updates huh? Sounds like some Google privacy invading stuff to me.
Howso? By making sure people can NOT access your camera and mic without your knowledge in a way that was designed to sidestep basic OS protections, now it's invading your privacy?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGeneo Avatar
23 months ago
Good!

I have ZERO issue with these silent updates
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
parler app

Apple Approves Parler to Return to App Store

Monday April 19, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Following the removal of the app in January, Apple will now allow the social media app Parler to return to the App Store following changes to how the social media network moderates content, CNN reports. On April 14, in a letter to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck obtained by CNN, Apple said that the app has improved the way it moderates content, and says those changes are "sufficient" for it...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...