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Mac OS X 'rootpipe' is not a backdoor


© April 2015 Anthony Lawrence

The news is full of stories like this Failed Apple Rootpipe Fix Leaves Backdoor On All Macs, Researchers Claim. Forbes (and many others) call it a "significant flaw", ZDNet calls it "serious". It was supposed to be fixed in the last patch cycle, but apparently it wasn't.

Yes, Apple deserves shame and humiliation, but seriously: for most of us, it's not a concern. First, if you don't run as an admin account as I've suggested at Patch fixes sudo escalation flaw, you aren't vulnerable.

More importantly, this isn't a "back door" through which someone can enter your Mac. This requires someone to login as a user first and then to have the combination to the safe tatooed on that user's forehead. The user needs to have admin privilege as noted above; without it this flaw doesn't help them.

It's unimportant to most of us. I might worry if I had employees, but sitting here behind two firewalls on a machine with only one admin account that I do not use, I do not.


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Take Control of iCloud

Take Control of IOS 11

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Take Control of Numbers




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