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Apple Releases Security Updates for macOS

Posted on April 2, 2019

Apple recently released security updates across many of its products, including macOS and iOS. The macOS updates apply to macOS Mojave (Mojave Version 10.14.4), macOS High Sierra (Security Update 2019-002), and macOS Sierra (Security Update 2019-002). Users with these operating systems should update to the latest versions ASAP to avoid potential security threats.

The biggest news to be found in these updates is that Apple has patched the KeySteal bug, a vulnerability discovered by an 18-year-old German researcher back in February. The flaw allows hackers to use a malicious app to steal passwords out of the Apple Keychain password manager. With the latest MacOS version and security updates, the KeySteal vulnerability is officially a thing of the past. If you rely on Keychain to manage your passwords, this fix alone makes installing the updates a must.

Another big fix included in this batch of security updates is a patch for a bug in FaceTime. In February, Apple patched a major FaceTime vulnerability, which made it possible for a hacker to eavesdrop on a user’s FaceTime calls. The more recent patch is not as significant but still has notable privacy implications. Apple says the fix will address a flaw in the current version of macOS, where “a user’s video may not be paused in a FaceTime call if they exit the FaceTime app while the call is ringing.”

Also notable on the privacy front are patches for Siri and Notes. Apple says that previous versions of the macOS Siri application featured “an API issue…in the handling of dictation requests.” Theoretically, a malicious application would have been able to exploit this bug “to initiate a dictation request without user authorization.” As for Notes, there was an access bug with the app that would have permitted a local user to open and view a user’s notes—even if they were locked. Apple fixed this issue “with improved memory management.

The update also comes with security fixes for other parts of the macOS operating system, including the kernel, AppleGraphicsControl, and graphics drivers, as well as apps such as Time Machine, Messages, and Contacts.

To update your macOS operating system with the latest fixes, launch the Apple menu on your computer, select “About This Mac,” and click “Software Update.” If youre interested in learning a bit more about the new security fixes, you can read about them on Apple’s website.

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