Apple patches modem bug that’s been in Macs since 1999

Lily Hay Newman for Wired:

In 1999, Apple released a slew of new features with Mac OS 9, calling it ‘the best internet operating system ever.’ The idea was to unlock the full potential of the turquoise plastic iMac G3 — the Internet Mac! — released in 1998. But 12-year-old Joshua Hill didn’t have an iMac. To take advantage of all the new connectivity from his parents’ mid-’90s Mac Performa, he needed a modem that would plug into the computer through one of its chunky ‘serial’ ports. So, naturally, he swapped his holographic Han Solo trading card with a friend for a 56k modem and started poking around. Twenty years later, his childhood fascination has led him to unearth a modem configuration bug that’s been in Apple operating systems all these years. And Apple finally patched it in April.

Apple's iconic iMac
Apple’s iconic iMac

Hill, who is now a vulnerability researcher, is presenting the 20-year-old bug at the Objective by the Sea Mac security conference in Monaco on Sunday.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Hill continues his quest for vulnerabilities and teaches others how to find (and report) exploits to Apple. With every one fixed, The World’s Most Advanced Operating System gets even more secure!


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