With the release of new beta versions of MacOS Big Sur and iOS 14, many IT experts have just dived headfirst into the lines of code looking for the changes Apple has made. If neither of these two beta should bring big changes in the coming weeks, some interesting data has still been noted by various experts.
End of exceptions for third-party firewalls
On the beta of the new Mac OS, security researcher Patrick Wardle noticed that the Apple brand had removed filters that had previously allowed Apple “home” applications to bypass firewalls.
This workaround had been possible since November for Apple’s applications, but many developers had expressed fears about this change in Apple’s cybersecurity policy. The apple brand seems to have proved them right today and has just withdrawn the privileges that these applications had acquired.
Omg we did it! 🤩
Thanks to the community feedback (and ya, bad press) Apple decided to remove the ContentFilterExclusionList (in 11.2 beta 2)
Means socket filter firewalls (eg LuLu) can now comprehensively monitor / block all OS traffic !!
– patrick wardle (@patrickwardle) January 13, 2021
Concretely, if you install a firewall, whatever it is, on your Mac, the latter will analyze all the applications present within the computer in order to look for a virus. Until now, Apple applications could bypass this surveillance and thus were an easier target for hackers.
The applications that were affected by this exception were made by Apple itself. FaceTime, Apple Music or Plans could in particular refrain from going through a third-party firewall. But the Apple has decided to end this preferential treatment in its new version, for the moment in beta, of macOS Big Sur. The consumer version of this update is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.