Brand New Macs Found Susceptible to Being Hacked Due to Recently Discovered Bug

NEWS: 08.13.18- Apple computers are known to be very secure compared to its counterparts and were generally free of viruses and malware until recent years due to its rise in popularity among consumers and the business world. However, a new security flaw has been discovered that allows for brand new Macs to be infiltrated by hackers prior to the user ever accessing the system Finder for the very first time.

The report last week was outlined in an article from Wired magazine written by Lily Hay Newman which details how a bug can give an unauthorized party complete access to an Apple desktop or notebook computer right out of the box upon its first connection to the internet during account setup.

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This vulnerability gives hackers the opportunity to gain control of a Mac remotely, opening a Pandora’s Box so to speak.

The exploit already has been reported to Apple and an update in Mac OS High Sierra version 10.13.6 addresses the problem but any Macs that do not yet have this update installed are still susceptible to being hacked.

Researchers have recently discovered a vulnerability that can allow hackers to attack brand new Apple computers right out of the box upon connecting to the web like this example of a new Mac, the updated MacBook Pro which was released last month. (Photo: Courtesy of Apple)

Right now, the people who found this security flaw have relegated it specifically to enterprise Macs using the device enrollment program by Apple. This creates a unique situation which further exacerbates the issue.

From the article:

“The idea is that a company can ship Macs to its workers directly from Apple’s warehouses and the devices will automatically configure to join their corporate ecosystem after booting up for the first time and connecting to Wi-Fi.”

And therein lies the critical factor that can make a computer compromised.

So should you be worried as a consumer that the brand new Mac you buy is in danger of being hacked?

The article makes no mention of this and does not reference anything in regard to consumer purchases of Apple computers other than the one device that is usually bought off store shelves which has a security risk of its own which is a separate issue altogether, albeit related in one sense.

According to the article, the attack isn’t easy “But they emphasize that it would be possible for a well-funded, motivated attacker to exploit the flaw if they were looking for a way onto Macs. And the potential to use the attack as a jumping off point to bore deeper into corporate networks would have plenty of appeal. Hackers could even simplify the attack by targeting employees who work from home and are easier to man-in-the-middle thanks to their consumer grade routers.”

But if your computer is issued by your employer and you work for a large corporation, it does give some pause and concern. Especially if you bring your work home with you or work off site from home. However, hopefully your IT department is on top of things and has everything covered and is already aware of this issue.

And to protect yourself at home, it goes without saying that your Wi-Fi network should be secured with a good alphanumeric password that is difficult to guess in order to safeguard your security and prevent you from low-level hacking.
To learn more about the process of how a brand new Mac right out of the box can be attacked by a hacker, read the full Wired article.

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