Tag Archives: Apple MacBook

macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari CVE-2021-1844 Bug : Fix It Now!

macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari CVE-2021-1844 Bug : Fix It Now!

Apple just rushed out macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, iOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4.1 and Safari 14.0.3 to patch a critical security bug.

Find out what they fix, and why you need to update your MacBook, iPhone and iPad right away!

 

Apple Rushes Out macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Critical Bug Fixes!

Released on 8 March 2021, macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 patches only one bug, which may mislead users into thinking that it’s not very important.

WebKit

Available for: macOS Big Sur

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

On the same day, Apple also released iOS 14.4.1 and iPadOS 14.4.1 – both patching the same CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability.

WebKit

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

Apple also released Safari 14.0.3, which patches the same vulnerability for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave :

WebKit

Available for: macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

 

Why Install These macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Bug Fixes ASAP?

While they appear to only patch WebKit in macOS Big Sur, iOS, iPadOS and Safari, they are CRITICAL bug fixes that you need to install right away.

They patch the new CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability, which was discovered by Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group and Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research.

This vulnerability allows a remote attacker to trigger a buffer overflow when the victim opens a specially-crafted web page, allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

It is not known if this vulnerability has been exploited yet, but it is critical to install the new updates to prevent that from happening.

 

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First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Exclusive on Tech ARP – the first look at the 2021 MacBook Pro ports, including a brand new MagSafe 3 port and an SD card slot!

Here is the first ever look at the MagSafe 3 connector, the SD card slot, and other ports that will ship with the 2021 MacBook Pro!

 

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Apple fans who miss the MagSafe port and the SD card reader in their MacBook laptops will have something to cheer for this year!

Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

New Apple MagSafe 3 Connector!

The new MagSafe 3 connector is bidirectional and has 5 pins, and will lock and detach magnetically like the previous two generations.

The MagSafe 3 connector is not compatible with older MacBook computers, and has a pill-shaped design with a thinner profile.

The MagSafe 3 port is located on the left side of the 2021 MBP, next to two Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Ports on the left side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

Return Of The SD Card Reader!

We are also glad to report that Apple will (finally) bring back the SD card reader that many photographers LOVED, and bemoaned when Phil Schiller killed it in 2016.

Now that Schiller is out of Apple, it looks like it’s been resurrected for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Utility finally trumped cumbersome!

The SD card reader is located on the right side, together with a third Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) port and a HDMI 2.0 port.

Ports on the right side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

 

2021 Apple MacBook Pro : What Else Is New?

So what else is new in the 2021 MacBook Pro, other than MagSafe 3 and the resurrected SD card reader?

14-inch + 16-inch Models

There will be two 2021 MacBook Pro models – with 14-inch and 16-inch displays.

Apple M1X SoC

There will no longer be Intel CPU options, only the Apple M1X SoC.

Nothing much is known about the Apple M1X, other than it is a more powerful version of the M1 that has stunned many with its performance.

But rumours have it that it will have 12 processor cores, split into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 8 x Firestorm (?) cores
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm (?) cores

It will have a more powerful GPU than Apple M1‘s 8-core GPU.

Memory

The Apple M1X will use the same unified memory design as the M1, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

However, it will offer larger memory options – 24 GB and 32 GB are possible – in addition to 16 GB currently available with the M1.

External Display Support

A big limitation of the Apple M1 is its support for just one external display of up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz.

The 2021 MacBook Pro will support at least two external displays, if not more, via its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports.

OLED Touch Bar Gone!

Good riddance to the pointless OLED Touch Bar. That’s gone for the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3!

Windows gaming on the ARM-based Apple M1 is possible!

Watch how well the Apple M1 runs The Witcher 3 using CrossOver 20!

 

Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3 On CrossOver 20!

MrMacRight successfully ran The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, using the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro with the new ARM-based Apple M1 SoC.

Here was his recorded gameplay of The Witcher 3 at the 1080p resolution, with the Medium graphics and post-processing presets, and VSync enabled.

He could not get the FPS counter to work, but it looks smooth and very playable, albeit with some visual artefacts.

Basically – Apple M1 gaming is not only possible, it is possible to play Windows games!

Video Credit : MrMacRight

 

Windows Gaming On Apple M1 : Rosetta 2 + Windows API Translation!

That quick gameplay showcase of The Witcher 3 shows that Windows gaming is possible on the Apple M1.

The ability to run The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, and at such playable frame rates, is important for two reasons.

Windows App Compatibility

The Witcher 3 is a 64-bit Windows-only game, so you wouldn’t expect it to run well on the ARM-based Apple M1, right?

Running it on the Apple M1 involves translating Windows API calls using CrossOver, and then translating x86 instructions to ARM instructions using Rossetta 2.

Yet it not only worked, it ran pretty well on the Apple M1!

Performance

While AppleGamers was not able to obtain a frame rate, The Witcher 3 appears to run pretty well at the 1080p resolution.

That shows that the Apple M1’s integrated 8-core GPU is fast, and will have no problem handling native ARM games at 1080p, and likely 1440p as well.

 

Apple M1 : A Quick Primer

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers.

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

It comes with 4 high-performance Firestorm CPU cores, 4 power-efficient Icestorm cores, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

As the M1 is based on the ARM architecture, you can natively run iPhone and iPad apps on it. However, existing macOS apps will have to be ported over, or translated on-the-fly using Rosetta 2.

It is currently available in these Apple Mac computers :

  • 2020 MacBook Air : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Mac Camera Cover Guide : Why Apple Is Wrong!

Apple recently advised everyone not to cover the camera of their Mac laptops, and rely instead on the camera indicator light.

Find out why Apple is WRONG, and why you need to physically cover your Mac computer’s camera!

 

Mac Camera Cover : What Is It For?

Cybersecurity specialists have long advocated covering the built-in camera of your computers, not just MacBook laptops or Mac desktops, with a camera cover of some sort.

This prevents hackers from taking over that camera, and secretly recording you. This has implications beyond just recording your embarrassing moments for blackmail.

With access to your laptop camera, hackers can determine when you are away from home, who lives at your home, who you are working with, and even where you currently are.

 

Apple : Don’t Use A Camera Cover For Your Mac

In their recent HT211148 tech advisory, they asked Mac laptop (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) users not to use any camera cover.

Recommended : Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

Instead, they recommended that you use these two built-in features for your privacy :

A. The Green Camera Indicator Light

Apple points out that your Mac computer has a camera indicator light that glows green whenever the camera is active.

They also claimed that the camera is designed not to activate unless its indicator light is also turned on.

B. The Camera Access Control

As an additional measure built into macOS Mojave or later, you must give an app permission before it can use your Mac computer’s camera.

To view which apps has access to your Mac computer’s camera, and to revoke any app’s access :

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
  2. Select Camera.
  3. Select the tickbox next to an app to allow it to access your camera.Deselect the tickbox to turn off access for that app.If you turn off access for an app, you’re asked to turn it on again the next time that app tries to use your camera.

 

Why Apple Is Wrong, And You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

Apple fans may hate us for this, but they are wrong. You must physically cover your Mac computer’s camera to protect yourself.

Hackers Always Disable The Indicator Light

Mac computers are not the only ones to feature an indicator light for their built-in cameras. Most computers with a built-in webcam have such an indicator light.

It is, therefore, SOP for hackers to disable the indicator light after gaining control of the camera. Camfecting attacks won’t work if you are aware that the camera is turned on…

Apple asserts that the camera and its indicator light on Mac computers are wired in series, so the camera won’t work if the indicator light is turned off.

However, a 2013 Johns Hopkins University paper showed how it was possible to disable the indicator light of a Mac computer’s webcam, even though the camera module had a “hardware interlock”.

This isn’t just an obscure research subject. The FBI has the capability to covertly activate a computer’s camera without triggering the indicator light, according to Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of FBI’s Operational Technology Division.

The only ways to prevent such attacks would be to either turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Hackers Won’t Ask You For Permission

Security researcher Ryan Pickren showed in April 2020 how seven flaws in Apple Safari can let malicious websites hijack your camera and microphone to spy on you.

All you have to do is click on a link, and it lets the malicious website gain access to your webcam without asking for permission.

So much for the Mac Camera Access Control feature…

You May Not Notice The Light

Even if the camera indicator light is not disabled, it doesn’t mean you will immediately realise when the light turns on.

By the time you realise the green light is actually glowing, it may already be too late.

This is partly because it emits a steady glow, and doesn’t blink. Of course, a blinking light is bloody irritating, but we are more likely to notice it than a static green glow.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

Hackers Can Turn On Sleeping Or Hibernating Computers

Don’t assume that just because your Mac computer is sleeping or hibernating, hackers cannot access its camera.

They can potentially wake your computer, turn on the camera and record from it, with the indicator light turned off.

Security researcher Pedro Vilaça showed in 2015 how it was possible to remotely “root” and take over a Mac computer after it wakes up from sleep mode of 30 seconds or longer.

Irrespective of the method used, once hackers gain control of your computer, they can turn on its Wake On LAN (WOL) feature to remotely wake up your computer, like what the Ryuk ransomware does.

The only way to prevent that is to turn off your computer, or physically cover the camera.

Cybercriminals Can Trick You With A Fake Blackmail

Even if cybercriminals are unable to access your camera, they can still trick you into believing they somehow took compromising photos or videos from it.

They send out thousands of spam emails every day to trick people into believing they have been caught on camera.

People who don’t use a camera cover can be convinced into believing that their webcams were somehow compromised, and tricked into paying up to avoid exposure.

The only way to prevent that is to physically cover the camera.

 

The Best Way To Cover Your Mac Computer Camera

While we strongly advise you to cover your Mac computer camera, that does not mean you should risk damaging your display.

Laptop Computers (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro)

According to Apple, we should not use any camera cover that is more than 0.1 mm thick. That basically rules out any camera cover, because it is impossible to make one that thin.

They also advise again using anything that leaves an adhesive residue. So that means cellophane tape (Scotch tape) and packaging tape should be avoided.

So here are the best options for you to consider, based on your requirements :

  1. If you don’t intend to use the camera at all
    a) Use your laptop in clamshell mode, with a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse
    b) Cover the camera with masking tape, which is gentle and leaves no residue
  2. If you plan to use the camera
    – Cut a small piece of sticky note, so that there is an adhesive part and a non-adhesive part.
    – Alternatively, cut a piece of masking tape, and fold part of it to create a non-adhesive portion.
    – Cover the camera with the adhesive part
    – You can then use the non-adhesive portion to pull it off whenever you need to use the camera

Desktop Computers (iMac, iMac Pro)

Desktop computers like the iMac or iMac Pro don’t have to worry about damaging their displays with camera covers of any thickness.

We therefore recommend using a proper camera cover that slides to let you use the camera whenever you want to, and physically cover it whenever you don’t.

Just make sure the camera cover does not use excessively strong adhesive, or leaves a residue that will require using solvent to remove, which could damage the display coating!

 

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Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

After years of letting third-party companies sell camera covers, Apple just issued a warning that using a camera cover can damage your MacBook laptop!

Find out what’s going on, and why using a camera cover may be critical for your privacy, but can damage your MacBook!

 

Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

In a new technical advisory, Apple warns that closing your MacBook laptop with a camera cover attached could physically damage the display, due to the limited clearance between the display and the chassis.

In addition, installing a camera cover can block the ambient light sensor located next to the camera. This will prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working properly.

If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.

Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and technical advisory from working.

Instead of using a camera cover, Apple recommends relying on the camera indicator light to tell you when it is actively recording you.

This is a VERY BAD idea, which we will elaborate in this article : Apple Is Wrong. You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

 

What If You MUST Use A Camera Cover?

If your organisation or work requires you to use a camera cover, Apple issued these recommendations :

  • Make sure the camera cover is not thicker than 0.1 mm.
  • Avoid using a camera cover that leaves adhesive residue.
  • If you install a camera cover that is thicker than 0.1 mm, remove the camera cover before closing your computer.

For Americans and anyone else still stuck with Imperial measurements, 0.1 mm = 0.00393 inch.

This example of an ultra-thin camera cover designed for the MacBook is 8X too thick, according to Apple.

It is physically impossible to create a camera cover that thin. In other words, Apple is telling you yet again NOT to use an actual camera cover!

Instead, try using a tiny piece of sticky note. It is not only thin, it is also soft. Just make sure it covers only the camera, and not the ambient light sensor.

 

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How To Fix NAS Connection Failure In macOS Catalina!

One of the issues you may face after upgrading to macOS Catalina is a sudden failure to connect to your NAS. And no matter what you do – you just can’t access your NAS!

Fortunately, we have the solution for this problem. Here is our guide on how you can fix the NAS connection failure in macOS Catalina!

 

The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Issue

After upgrading to macOS Catalina, you may experience a sudden and persistent inability to connect to your NAS.

When you try to access your NAS, it will say Connection Failed. And nothing happens when you click the Connect As… button – you don’t get the usual security pop-up to log into your NAS.

This is beyond annoying, because you have now lost all access to your NAS on macOS Catalina.

It is definitely a macOS Catalina issue because if you try using a Windows PC or an old macOS system, you will have no issue accessing the same NAS.

So what should you do?

 

The Cause Of The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

From what we can tell, this issue is happening because Apple apparently dropped support for SMB1 and SMB 2.0 in macOS Catalina.

With many NAS defaulting to SMB1 for compatibility reasons, users will immediately lose the ability to connect once they upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

How To Fix The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

The key is to set your NAS to use SMB 3.0 or later. This should not be a problem if your NAS is less than 5-6 years old, because SMB 3.0 was introduced in 2012.

In our guide, we are going to use the screenshots from our Synology NAS. But it should be similar in concept to NAS from other brands like QNAP and WD :

  1. Log into your NAS
  2. Go to Control Panel > File Services.
  3. Under the SMB section, click on Advanced Settings.

  1. In the Advanced Settings pop-up, you will find that the Maximum SMB protocol is probably set to SMB1.
  2. You need to set the Maximum SMB protocol to SMB3.

  1. Now, this is not necessary, but while you are here, you might as well just set the Minimum SMB protocol to SMB2 and Large MTU.
  2. Then click Apply at the bottom of the Advanced Settings pop-up to save the settings.

  1. If it works, you should be able to connect to your NAS after you log out of your NAS. However, in many cases, you need to take an additional step by manually connecting to your NAS.
  2. To do that, you need to select Go > Connect to Server… in Finder.
  3. Then key in smb://ServerName/ (in our example, smb://DiskStation/) and click Connect.
  1. This should finally launch the security login pop-up, where you can key in your Name and Password to log into your NAS.

After logging into your NAS, you should have no issue accessing your NAS. You can also drag and add your NAS folders to the Favourites list in Finder.

 

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macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

macOS Catalina (or macOS version 10.15) is coming in October 2019, bringing with it a slew of really nice improvements and new features.

However, unlike earlier macOS releases – you need to prepare for macOS Catalina, or you could run into trouble right after the upgrade!

 

macOS Catalina Requirements

Before we start, make sure you have one of these systems – macOS Catalina will only run on these Mac computers.

  • iMac Pro : All models
  • iMac : Late 2012 or newer
  • Mac Pro : Late 2013 or newer
  • Mac mini : Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro : Mid 2012 or newer
  • MacBook : Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air : Mid 2012 or newer

 

macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

Unlike earlier versions of macOS, Catalina drops support for 32-bit apps. Therefore, you must check if you are still using any 32-bit apps before you upgrade.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check for 32-bit apps in macOS :

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the task bar.
  2. Select About This Mac from the pull-down list.

  1. In the Overview screen, click on the System Report… button.

  1. When System Report loads, select Software > Applications from the column on the left.
  2. It will now take a minute or two to scan all of your apps.
  3. Once it loads, you can scroll through all of your apps to look for any that have their 64-Bit (Intel) status marked No.

  1. However, an EASIER method is to locate the 64-Bit (Intel) column, and click on it to list all those marked No at the top.As you can see, quite a number of applications, including those used to setup the actual apps, are still 32-bit apps.

  1. Now, you need to uninstall all those 32-bit apps and replace them with 64-bit versions. Otherwise, they will all fail to work once you upgrade to Catalina!

 

Why Do You Need To Run This Check Again?

You need to find out what 32-bit apps you are still running, because they will NOT work after you install macOS Catalina.

You will need to upgrade these 32-bit apps with newer 64-bit versions, BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

Can’t I Upgrade My Apps After I Upgrade To macOS Catalina?

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It is possible to remove your 32-bit apps and install their 64-bit versions after upgrading to macOS Catalina.

However, you may have trouble removing all of the older components, if the old 32-bit app used an installer.

So we highly recommend that you uninstall all 32-bit apps, and install their 64-bit versions… BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

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Apple Finally Kills iTunes… Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!

Apple FINALLY kills off iTunes, and the world is a better place for it!

Find out what killing off iTunes means for Apple users, and why we should celebrate its death with champagne and loud cheers!

 

iTunes Lifeline Finally Cut!

Well, not right away though. That junk software will continue to soldier on until you upgrade to macOS Catalina (macOS 10.15) – their next-generation operating system.

After you upgrade to macOS Catalina, iTunes will no longer exist. Only then you can safely toast its demise with champagne.

 

iTunes Was A Bloated Piece Of Shit

Honestly, why are some Apple fans so crazy about iTunes, literally crying virtual tears over its impending demise?

That piece of shit should have been canned years ago. Cast in concrete and dropped into the deepest ocean humanity can find.

You guys do know that you can be an Apple fanboy without pretending to love iTunes, right? RIGHT?

 

Apple Just Cut It Into Three Pieces

I’m ecstatic Apple finally pulled the plug on that bloated, unwieldy junk software, instead of forcing a new version down our throats every year.

I’m just a little sad that they chose to split iTunes into three smaller apps – Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts.

Sure, this would finally align macOS devices with their iOS cousins, which already have those apps. But now, you have to use three separate apps to manage your media, instead of just one.

There is also the tendency for those apps to bloat, as Apple adds more features with each iteration.

 

Wasted Opportunity?

IMHO, Apple could have used this opportunity to reinvent (and revolutionise?) how we manage and use media.

Instead of killing iTunes, perhaps they should have created a completely new unified app, with a different concept and UI… and a new name.

Not only is the iTunes name now irrevocably associated with user frustration, it is also incongruous with what iTunes has become.

 

The BEST Part About Killing iTunes

The BEST part about Apple killing iTunes is something many people somehow missed – you can now backup, update and sync your iOS devices through Finder!

This feature alone is worth upgrading to macOS Catalina at the earliest opportunity, even if Apple did not kill iTunes.

No longer will you have to use iTunes to backup, update and manage files in your iOS devices.

No longer will you be forced to use specific folders to sync your media files with your iOS devices.

No longer will you wonder why iTunes stubbornly refuses to sync certain photos and videos, while syncing all other photos and videos.

Yes, no longer will you have to put up with the piece of shit software called Apple iTunes to use your iOS devices!

If it actually works as advertised, this feature alone will finally see me purchase my first iPad since I sold off my first-generation iPad many years ago.

 

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The 12/12 Machines Sale – What Deals Can You Expect?

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 DECEMBER 2017 – Machines Sdn Bhd (Machines) today announced that it will be holding the first 12/12 Machines sale – its first ever sale held completely on its online store. We share with you the Apple devices and products that will be offered at great discounts starting tomorrow!

 

The 12/12 Machines Sale

For 12 days, from 12 December 2017 until 24 December 2017, Machines will be offering great savings on the Apple Watch (priced from RM999), iPad Pro (priced from RM1,599), MacBook Air (priced from RM2,999), MacBook (priced from RM3,999), Macbook Pro (priced from RM6,999), and other items with discounts of up to 80% off retail prices.

“As the countdown to Christmas nears, we want to give our customers an opportunity to find the perfect gift for their loved ones – or for themselves,” said Andrew Cheng, Director of Machines. “We chose to hold the sale online to give our customers the best deals without having to brave the holiday crowds”.

All purchases from the Machines online store come with free delivery to customers in Peninsular and East Malaysia. Customers have the option of home delivery or can opt to collect their purchases from selected Machines stores. Payment can be made via online transfer or locally issued credit cards (terms and conditions apply)

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All products are in their original packaging and come with a one (1) year manufacturer warranty from the date of purchase. In addition, smartwatches purchased during the sale are also eligible for the Machines Protection Plan – a two-year extended warranty that protects products against accidental damage.

While the sale prices will only be applicable starting from 12 December 2017, customers are currently able to browse the available products on the Machines online store.

When you are ready to purchase, visit https://machines.com.my/collections/1212.

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Apple Rushed Out macOS Root Bug Fix & It Shows…

Lemi Orhan Ergin did not give Apple any forewarning when he publicly revealed the massive macOS root bug on Twitter. He basically exposed a zero-day vulnerability for hackers to use, while Apple rushed on a bug fix. The good news is Apple just issued the root bug fix in Security Update 2017-001.

This is really fast work, but it also showed their sloppiness. Hopefully, the bug fix does not introduce additional bugs!

 

macOS Security Update 2017-001

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Apple released macOS Security Update 2017-001 just a day after the macOS root bug was revealed. They also gave us more information on the bug that caused so much ruckus around the world (and rightly so).

  • The bug only affected macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.
  • The bug did not affect computers running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 or earlier.
  • They confirmed that it allowed an attacker to “bypass administrator authentication without supplying the administrator’s password“.

You can get more details on the root bug in our dedicated article – The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained!

 

How Do I Download The Root Bug Fix?

The macOS root bug fix is now available for download via the App Store. If it doesn’t appear yet, just click on the Updates icon to refresh.

Please note that this bug fix will reset and disable the root user account.  If you need to use the root user account, you will need to re-enable it, and change its password, after applying the update.

 

Terminal Users, Watch Out!

If you’re using Terminal to update though, you may face some complications due to Apple’s sloppiness. Chai discovered that Apple accidentally used a space instead of the version number.

This is not an issue if you are downloading the patch through the App Store. But if you’re applying the patch via Terminal, you need to add a space.

softwareupdate -i “Security Update 2017-001- “

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The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained! Rev. 2.0

The Internet is abuzz with the shocking revelation that now everyone can hack an Apple computer… as long as it’s using the latest macOS High Sierra operating system. Let us explain what’s going on, and share with you the workaround for the macOS High Sierra root bug.

Updated @ 2017-11-30 : Added a new section on the Apple bug fix (Security Update 2017-001) [1], and additional information on the root bug [2].

Originally posted @ 2017-11-29


 

What Is Root User?

If you are the primary user of a MacOS X system, you have an administrator account with administrator privileges. This gives you more privileges and access than a standard user account. However, that is not the highest access level possible.

There is a Mac superuser account called “root” that gives you elevated read and write privileges to hidden or protected areas of the system. With the Mac root user account, you can even access files in other user accounts.

In fact, it gives you such God-like powers, you can modify or even delete critical system files. In fact, a Mac root user can use the rm -rf * command to delete the contents of every mounted drive in the computer, until macOS crashes when a crucial file or folder is deleted.

So this Mac root user account should only remain disabled unless you really, REALLY need to use it.

Suggested Reading : The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide

 

The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Updated!

On Tuesday, 28 November 2017, Turkish software developer Lemi Orhan Ergin revealed the macOS High Sierra root bug. With a few simple steps, anyone can gain elevated root user privileges in any computer running macOS High Sierra! Here is a summary of what we know about the root bug :

  1. The root bug exploit requires a computer running macOS High Sierra, with multiple user accounts.
  2. When prompted for a username and password, use these steps to gain root user access without any password :
    • Type “root” as the username and leave the password field blank.
    • Just click “Unlock” twice.
  3. The root bug cannot be exploited remotely, unless screen sharing is enabled.
  4. The root bug was introduced in macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. Earlier versions of macOS were not affected.
  5. Apple confirmed that the bug was due to “a logic error… in the validation of credentials“.
  6. Apple also confirmed that the bug would allow an attacker to “bypass administrator authentication without supplying the administrator’s password“.
  7. Several security researchers successfully replicated the bug.

 

How Serious Is This Root Bug?

The macOS High Sierra root bug is EXTREMELY serious, because it allows a hacker to easily bypass all of the macOS operating system’s security protections.

It doesn’t matter if you encrypted your computer, and secured it with an extremely long and complex password. Anyone who gains root user privileges using this bug can access (read, copy or move) the files in any user account (even those of an administrator) without knowing the password.

What’s even more troubling is that the root bug works even with a disabled root user account. This means the vast majority of Apple computers running on High Sierra are compromised, as the root user account is disabled by default.

 

How To Fix The Root Bug?

Unlike other security researchers, Lemi Orhan Ergin did not forewarn Apple before publicly revealing the bug, on Twitter no less. He basically exposed a zero-day vulnerability for hackers to use, while Apple rushes to fix the bug.

1. Install macOS Security Update 2017-001 New!

Apple just released Security Update 2017-001. This update will remove the root bug and improve credential validation. INSTALL THIS UPDATE NOW!

Note : This bug fix will reset and disable the root user account.  If you need to use the root user account, you will need to re-enable it, and change its password, after applying the update.

Note : Apple rushed out this update so quickly that they accidentally used a space instead of the version number. You can read more about this in our article – Apple Rushed Out macOS Root Bug Fix & It Shows…

This is not an issue if you are downloading the patch through the App Store. But if you’re applying the patch via Terminal, you need to add a space.

softwareupdate -i “Security Update 2017-001- “

2. Enable Root User With Your Own Password

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If you cannot apply Apple’s bug fix yet, you can block this root bug by enabling the root user account, and setting a password for it.

It’s not so straightforward, so we created a step-by-step guide for you – The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide.

3. Use Additional Encryption

Alternatively, you can opt to move your sensitive data to encrypted containers or drives using third-party encryption utilities like VeraCrypt. Hackers may use the High Sierra root bug to gain access to the encrypted containers or drives, but without the correct password, the actual data won’t be accessible.

4. Physically Protect Your Apple Computer

The good news is the High Sierra root bug generally requires physical access to your Apple computer. Until this bug is fixed, you should make sure your Apple computer is never left unsupervised.

Keep it in a locked room or bag, whenever you are not using it. If no one can get to it, they cannot use the bug to gain root access.

5. Disable Screen Sharing

The High Sierra root bug can be exploited remotely if Screen Sharing is enabled. So make sure you disable Screen Sharing.

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The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide

Want to have elevated God-like privileges to your Mac OS X system? Then you need to be a Mac root user. In this guide, we will teach you how to enable the root user account in OS X, change the password, and disable it.

For experienced users or power users, you can use Terminal to quickly make these changes :

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If you are an inexperienced user, you can use the GUI method, which has more steps but does not require keying in commands.

 

What Is The Mac Root User?

If you are the primary user of a MacOS X system, you have an administrator account with administrator privileges. This gives you more privileges and access than a standard user account. However, that is not the highest access level possible.

There is a Mac superuser account called “root” that gives you elevated read and write privileges to hidden or protected areas of the system. With the Mac root user account, you can even access files in other user accounts.

In fact, it gives you such God-like powers, you can modify or even delete critical system files. So this Mac root account should only remain disabled unless you really, REALLY need to use it.

OS X High Sierra currently has a root bug that allows practically root access in a few simple steps. Therefore, Apple advises you to enable the Mac root account, with your own password, until they fix the bug.

Suggested Reading : The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained

 

How To Enable The Mac Root User / Change Password (Terminal Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Please note this method is used to both enable the root account, and to change its password. The single command line of sudo passwd root both changes its password, while enabling the root account.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Utilities, and select Terminal.

Step 3 : Type sudo passwd root and press Enter.

sudo passwd root


Step 4 : You will be asked for your administrator password, not the new root password. Key in your administrator password and hit Enter.

Step 5 : Now key in the new root password, and hit Enter. Then retype the new root password for verification, and hit Enter.

That’s it! You have successfully enabled the Mac root account, with a password of your choice. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

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How To Disable The Mac Root User (Terminal Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Step 1 : In Terminal, type dsenableroot -d and press Enter.

dsenableroot -d


Step 2 : Key in your administrator password (not the root user password), and hit Enter.

If you succeed, you will see the notification : ***Successfully disabled root user.

Next Page > How To Enable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

 

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How To Enable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

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Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Enable Root User.

Step 9 : Now, key in the password you want, and a second time for verification, and click OK.

That’s it! You have successfully enabled the Mac root user account, with a password of your choice. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

Next Page > How To Change The Mac Root User Password

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How To Change The Mac Root User Password (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account, and have the root user account enabled.

If you have just enabled the root user account, and are still in the Directory Utility screen, skip ahead to Step 8.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

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Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Change Root Password.

Step 9 : Now, key in the new password you want, and a second time for verification, and click OK.

That’s it! You have successfully changed the Mac root user password. To use it, you need to log off your administrator account.

Next Page > How To Disable The Mac Root User Account

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How To Disable The Mac Root User Account (GUI Method)

Requisite : You need to be logged into an administrator account, and have the root user account enabled.

If you have just enabled the root user account, and are still in the Directory Utility screen, skip ahead to Step 8.

Step 1 : Click on the Apple () menu, and select System Preferences.

Step 2 : Click on Users & Groups.

Step 3 : In the Users & Groups screen, click on the lock and key in your administrator user name and password.

Step 4 : Click on Login Options.

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Step 5 : Click on the Join… (or Edit…) button next to Network Account Server.

Step 6 : Click on the Open Director Utility… button.

Step 7 : Click on the lock, and key in your administrator name and password.

Step 8 : In the Directory Utility menu bar, select Edit and click on Disable Root User.

That’s it! You have successfully disabled the Mac root user account.

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