Home Technology Vulnerability in macOS Monterey can locate and track Mac M1 user

Vulnerability in macOS Monterey can locate and track Mac M1 user


Oops, there’s like a really embarrassing bug in the update process for Macs with an M1 chip. When it needs to update, macOS Monterey asks Apple for a special boot signature, a “ticket,” from Apple. According to the discovery of Jeffrey Paul, a security researcher, this communication goes through an HTTP request, which is therefore very poorly secured since it is transmitted in the clear, without encryption.

The HTTP request to the host server gs.apple.com includes the chip’s unique 16-digit hardware identifier (ECID), which is therefore easily visible to anyone who knows where to look: anyone on a LAN, the internet service provider, and many course Apple.

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A thug who eavesdrops would not only have access to this ECID number, but also to the Mac user’s IP address, so a more or less precise location. This will be refined over the updates of macOS which fall every two or three months, knowing that each time an HTTP request is sent to Apple.

Blocking this connection during the update process amounts to making it crash, if you want an up-to-date Mac, and therefore benefiting from the latest security patches, it is absolutely necessary that the computer sends its ECID to Apple via this insecure protocol which allows devices with an ARM chip to boot following an update.

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This insecurity exists under macOS 12.3.1 – the current version of the system – but also under the previous version 12.3. According to Jeffrey Paul, it is possible that iOS is also affected.

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