Apple got rid of a controversial feature in macOS that allowed 53 of its own apps to bypass third-party firewalls, VPNs, security tools, and VPN apps that users install for their protection. Also Read – Apple iPhone 13: Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Next Generation iPhones
The feature called ContentFilterExclusionList was included in macOS 11 aka Big Sur. Also Read – Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro to Sport iPhone 12-like Flat-Edged Design: Ming-Chi Kuo
The list of apps that were able to bypass the security feature included some of the larger apps like Maps, iCloud, and the App Store. Also Read – Apple Store 5,000 Rs Refund Offer From January 2021: How You Can Benefit
The number dates back to October
The presence of the problem was first spotted in October 2020 by several security researchers, and then the developers of the applications realized that their security tools were not able to inspect the traffic of these applications or filter these applications.
According to ZDNet, security researchers such as Patrick Wardle, among others, were the first to report this issue and that it was a disaster in wait. The researchers argued that the malware could hook onto legitimate Apple apps on the list and then easily bypass security tools and firewalls.
Along with some security concerns, macOS users also ran the risk of exposing their real IP address and location when using these apps, as VPNs were unable to mask users’ locations due to malware present in these applications.
Temporary problem says Apple
Apple told ZDNet the issue was temporary but didn’t provide more details about it. The report also states that the issue was the result of a series of bugs in the apps and that the company was not carrying out an infamous coup behind the backs of users.
The bugs were related to obsolete kernel extensions in macOS and the introduction of a new system called the Network Extension Framework.
Apple said some of the bugs have been fixed as the same will be released with the Big Sur 11.2 update and all the apps on the list will be subject to firewall and security tools.