New Apple hack is really bad; users urged to update OS

Tech security researchers are telling Apple Mac users to update their macOS software immediately—noting that hackers may be exploiting a previously unknown bug in order to infiltrate an unidentified number of Mac computers.

“Worst hack in years”

The “worst hack in years” allows hackers to create malware that can take control of a given Apple Mac computer by bypassing even the most heavy-duty security protections on Mac—including Gatekeeper, File Quarantine, and even app notarization requirements.

“This is likely the worst or potentially the most impactful bug to everyday macOS users [in recent memory],” Patrick Wardle, independent tech researcher who specializes on MacOS, told Motherboard in a statement. 

New MacOS patch available

So what does that mean for Apple Mac users? You’ll want to update your operating system as soon as possible. The bug was first spotted by security researcher Cedric Owens, who reported it directly to Apple on March 25. Apple, as a result, has been pushing a patch in the latest version of MacOS Big Sur (11.3) that is supposed to fix the bug.

Apple today confirmed with TechCrunch that its new MacOS software update will fix the security vulnerability that would otherwise allow a hacker to remotely access sensitive data by tricking the user into opening a phony document.

Extra caution is advised; if the hackers convince a user to download an app that’s not in the App Store, the malware won’t be stopped simply by installing the new defensive tools. “Don’t open anything from anybody,” Wardle told Forbes in a recent interview.

Bottom line: if you’re worried about a potential breach in your own Apple computer, take the time to update your operating system to the latest MacOS Big Sur 11.3 as soon as you can—and don’t click on anything you don’t recognize in the meantime.

More information on the MacOS Big Sur 11.3, including detailed developer notes on the patch and various other new features are available on the official Apple website.