Items tagged with OS X

"Xara" might sound like a cool name for an exploit, but according to researchers at three different US universities, it's one that should cause some alarm. At its root, if Xara is properly exploited, attackers would be able to procure passwords stored in OS X's Keychain, which could be used for most or all of someone's applications. Specific details are not covered, but it seems that if an app is installed on OS X that takes advantage of this exploit, it can take control of the stored passwords, and other information that might be present (eg: the login username itself). Examples given are hijacking... Read more...
Chrome on OS X is a battery hog. It’s been known for a while that compared to Apple’s stock Safari browser, Chrome has a tendency to eat up CPU cycles and use excess amounts of memory. Google took a step earlier this month to combat this problem by reining in the much-hated Adobe Flash Player plugin. Using what Google calls “Intelligent Pause,” Chrome can decide for itself whether a particular Flash element is worth displaying to the user. If isn’t, it will be disabled, thus helping to save your laptop’s battery from prematurel discharging. But Adobe isn’t the only party at fault when it comes... Read more...
Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) with updates to its PC operating system: OS X. This wouldn’t be Apple if it didn’t brag a bit, so the company reported that the most recent release of OS X, Yosemite, is currently being used on 55 percent of Macs (Apple claims that this is the fastest adoption rate for any desktop OS ever). But everyone in the audience was there to hear about Yosemite; they wanted to hear about the next big thing. So what’s the name of Apple’s latest OS X release? It’s OS X El Capitan. Yes, you heard that correctly, El Capitan. Apple is focusing on two... Read more...
After mainboard vendors began adopting EFI en masse in recent years, security researchers all over have dissected the many different implementations out there to find that elusive crippling bug. Sometimes, though, such bugs are not actually elusive at all, like one just discovered by reverse engineering enthusiast fG. fG starts off his report by pointing out two excellent presentations revolving around EFI exploitation, and how this new one relates to one of those. At any point while using your PC, your EFI should never become exposed to write commands, but fG notes that this isn't the case on... Read more...
Apple's OS X "Yosemite" brought a lot to the table, and while almost all of it has been good, there has been a stick in the mud. That stick is called "discoveryd", and relates to how the OS handles its networking duties. Since the release of Yosemite, many users have dealt with serious network stability issues, such as disconnections and a doubling of network names, and even full-blown computer crashes. Apple might have had good intentions with discoveryd, but it's clear that it's causing far more harm than good right now. Fortunately, the company agrees, and so it's decided to pull discoveryd... Read more...
Last week learned that the Oculus Rift will be delivered to paying customers starting in Q1 2016. Oculus also took the time to show us what the final version of the Rift will look like once it begins shipping. During the reveal, the company stated, “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift.” That time has come, and Oculus has handed down the recommended minimum specs “for the full Rift experience” on PC systems. You’ll need: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greaterIntel... Read more...
Apple has today announced that it will be kicking off the 26th iteration of its WWDC on June 8, and as usual, it'll be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As was the case last year, Apple will be choosing developers to purchase tickets at random, and also like last year, those tickets will cost $1,599 each. If you're interested in attending this year's WWDC, you can't waste any time; you must head here to register and do so no later than April 17, 10AM PDT. It seems obvious that Apple will use this WWDC to talk about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. "Apple’s renowned developer community will come... Read more...
It's not often that we learn of a DDoS attack that can be sourced from mobile devices, but as it happens, it's something that's possible on iOS devices not running the latest 8.3 software. The bug isn't exclusive to iOS, however. Because the 'Darwin Nuke' flaw exists in the Darwin kernel, the desktop OS X is also affected. To be protected there, an upgrade to 10.10.3 is required. It's unfortunately not mentioned when this bug first surfaced, but Kaspersky notes that affected devices include the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini - in effect, iOS... Read more...
Good news, Office for Mac users: Microsoft has just released the first public preview for its upcoming Office 2016 suite. Of course, opting into the preview is free, and installing it will not replace a current install of Office 2011. In recent months, Microsoft has rolled-out updated versions of OneNote and Outlook, per ZDNET's Mary Jo Foley, while this preview brings the rest of the apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint -- up to speed. Similar to how it's handling its Windows 10 preview, Microsoft will be making regular updates to its Office 2016 preview, and from the date of a build's publishing,... Read more...
Conventional wisdom in years past was that hackers didn’t bother to exploit Apple’s OS X operating system because its relatively insignificant market share didn’t warrant wasting resources to exploit it. The reasoning was, why bother with OS X when Windows was pushing over 90 percent of the worldwide OS market? However, in recent years, Apple has seen an uptick in Mac sales and pretty much dominates the field when it comes to notebooks priced over $1,000. The higher sales profile for Macs running OS X also means more attention from nefarious parties that are ready to strike. The latest report from... Read more...
Microsoft no longer needs to feel singled out by Google and its Project Zero team for disclosing multiple unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows. It wasn't personal, just an inflexible policy on the part of Project Zero to give companies a 90-day window to patch any vulnerabilities it finds before making them public. And now it's Apple that's in Project Zero's spotlight.Project Zero has made public a trio of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered in Apple's OS X platform, releasing all the gory details of each one to the public after Apple failed to address them within the allotted 90-day windows.None... Read more...
When a computer vulnerability is revealed by both the Department of Homeland Security and Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, I'd say there's a pretty good chance that it shouldn't be ignored. Apparently, Apple agrees. Today, the Cupertino firm released its first-ever forced update, taking advantage of a mechanism first rolled-out to OS X just a couple of years ago. The software at fault is ntp, or network time protocol, which in older versions has a severe enough bug that could allow exploiters to gain control over a machine -- something that's no doubt... Read more...
Apple issued an update to its Safari web browser earlier this week that was supposed to patch more than a dozen security vulnerabilities, but has now pulled it offline due to issues affecting some users. Those affected by the buggy update say that it reports installing correctly, but actually removes the browser from their system. Apple's only solution at the moment is to go nuclear and reinstall OS X. "Guys it seems that you have to reinstall OS X - I know it's a bummer but I am chatting live with the folks at Apple and that's what they say so far. You could also wait and see if this becomes systemic... Read more...
One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgradeability and flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made upgrading or using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs. We say "effectively" because while third-party SSDs will still work, they'll no longer perform the TRIM garbage collection command.... Read more...
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