Malwarebytes has emerged as one of the most popular antivirus systems around the world in recent times. This is when Malwarebytes does not fulfill the requirements to be labeled as fully-fledged antivirus. Recently, the company surprised everyone by complaining against Apple, one of the biggest tech companies in the world. In a blog post written by Malwarebytes support, the company criticized the patching process of Apple saying it can have serious repercussions for the safety and security of the systems being used by the customers.
Thomas Reid, Mac and mobile director in Malwarebytes, wrote a blog post that centers on a campaign called Watering Hole being run in Hong Kong. Watering Hole is actually a security threat that was aimed at the users of Mac OS who were directing people to a pro-democracy event supported by a political organization. TAG from Google first reported about Watering Hole some time ago. Hackers made use of two vulnerabilities in the Mac OS to launch these attacks. One of these was CVE-2021-1789, a web kit flaw, and the other one was CVE-2021-30869, escalation vulnerability related to XNU privilege. Both these vulnerabilities have been pointed out specifically in the blog post published by the Malwarebytes support team.
What is worrying, according to Thomas Reid, is the fact that both these vulnerabilities have been allowed to run wild without any detection so far by the parent company Apple. They have been around since 2019 and hackers have used them inside Trojans to infect the systems of innocent victims with impunity.
Apple claims to have released patches for both of these vulnerabilities. The patches were released at the same time as Mac OS Big Sur was launched in February last year. However, there has been no respite for the users of earlier editions of Mac OS namely Mojave and Catalina. Apple says that the users of Catalina and Mojave would have become safe if they had upgraded to Safari OS after the release of the patch. The fact of the matter is that Apple cannot blame the users of Catalina as their vulnerability was fixed only months later on September 23. It means that Catalina users were left in the lurch by the company for more than 7 months.
Malwarebytes support team has pointed out this big lapse in security by Apple in its blog post. Reid says that the users of Catalina and even Safari 13 were left at the mercy of the hackers for 7-8 months. Google says that the number of attempts to breach this security was around 200 in this 7-month period. According to Reid, this lapse in security only highlights the attitude of Apple that it is interested in solving the problems of the latest and the most up-to-date versions of its operating systems. It means you can rely on the company for your security only if you are using Monterey. You are in the hands of God if you are using an older system of Mac.
The Malwarebytes support team needs to be applauded for pointing out the inconsistency in the patching process of Apple.