Apple will fix privilege bug on OS X, but still needs to work on other vulnerabilities

Apple will provide unlocked iPhones for security research;  rewards program is expanded

Recent discoveries by information security researchers are proving to be tough challenges for Apple. In late July, details of a bug in the current version of OS X Yosemite (10.10.4) capable of exposing Macs to the possibility of elevating privileges during the execution of malicious code were published.

The problem, found in a critical component of the runtime operating system applications, gained media reach and led developers to disseminate examples of patches to correct it, while the company maintained its characteristic secrecy on the subject. However, the Guardian obtained information that the matter is being dealt with internally and, in the next update (OS X 10.10.5, probably the last planned for Yosemite), it should be resolved.

However, this is just one of the security issues surrounding Apple computers at the moment. A set of vulnerabilities present in the firmware layer of your desktops and notebooks has been used since the beginning of the year in the composition of a line of malware known as Thunderstrike, which recently gained its second member.

In its first version, it attacked Macs through infected Thunderbolt accessories, hence the origin of its name. However, physical access to the computer was necessary to make an attack, in addition to being easily isolated by corrections presented by Apple. The Thunderstrike 2, however, is better designed.

Hackers can now, according to Wired, distribute the malware on phishing scams over the internet via emails or website links. As the infection occurs at the firmware layer, conventional antivirus and / or similar applications are not able to remove the malware, which can also infect Thunderbolt accessories connected to a compromised Mac. In addition, as their access interfaces are developed in common work with Intel, other PCs are also exposed to risks and are compatible with Thunderbolt accessories.

On the Apple side, however, some of the vulnerabilities that make it possible for Thunderstrike 2 to work are already fixed in OS X Yosemite 10.10.4, so future updates should take care to eliminate the risks of new malware. Experts heard by Guardian they also rule out the possibility of this version spreading, reinforcing the importance of Apple focusing on more security-oriented efforts.

The good news is that the company has been showing signs of progress towards developers. At El Capitan, a new OS X integrity protection module is planned to be launched, preventing applications from having write access to protected locations on the operating system – and also protecting direct interface files with the hardware (hopefully). In addition to offering greater protection to sensitive components, some developers see the measures as future opportunities for Apple to step back from restrictions imposed on the Mac App Store that limit some product categories due to the requirement for sandboxing.

[tipfrom[dicadoRobson Pinheiro, via Gizmodo]