Invisible mouse clicks let hackers burrow deep into an already-infected Mac

“One way operating system developers try to protect a computers’ secrets from probing hackers is with an appeal to the human at the keyboard. By giving the user a choice to ‘allow’ or ‘deny’ a program’s access to sensitive data or features, the operating system can create a checkpoint that halts malware while letting innocent applications through,” Andy Greenberg writes for Wired. “But former NSA staffer and noted Mac hacker Patrick Wardle has spent the last year exploring a nagging problem: What if a piece of malware can reach out and click on that ‘allow’ button just as easily as a human?”

“At the DefCon hacker conference Sunday in Las Vegas, Wardle plans to present a devious set of automated attacks he’s pulled off against macOS versions as recent as 2017 release High Sierra, capable of so-called synthetic clicks that allow malware to breeze through the permission prompts meant to block it,” Greenberg writes. “Wardle’s attacks, to be clear, don’t offer a hacker an initial foothold on a computer; they only help a hacker’s malware penetrate layers of security on an already infected machine. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple will patch this one up, too, and macOS gets even more secure!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Ladd” for the heads up.]


  1. The NSA, Booz Allen Hamilton (of the heroic Edward Snowden fame) and other private spy contractors already know all about this scheme, and more, and how to circumnavigate any counter measures.

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