Why You Should Always Update Your Mac: The ‘PACMAN’ Exploit

Every part of the technology carries the risk of bugs and security bugs, but Macs run Apple’s M1 chips. Are apparently vulnerable to all-new categories of danger. Security researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have discovered a hardware-based exploit — named “PACMAN” that could theoretically allow anyone to bypass hardware-level security checks on Mac devices and malicious code.

The PACMAN attack The Apple M1 CPU avoids pointer authentication code (PAC), which typically blocks unauthorized changes to Mac’s operating system or other data. However, there must be a pre-existing bug that the attacker uses to exclude PAC — such as bugs patched with regular security updates. Presumably, if the user doesn’t install those important updates right away, they may be vulnerable to PACMAN exploitation.

Think of it this way: your Mac’s PAC is like a ghost that usually destroys PACMAN, but patched software bugs are like PACMAN-eaten power pellets that make your ghost vulnerable to its chomps.

MIT researchers have warned Apple about the risks, but because of the flaws at the hardware level, they can’t be patched out like firmware or software bugs. While this may sound bad, it is important to point out that the PACMAN attack is a proof-concept attack created by MIT researchers for testing purposes only. There is no evidence of similar attacks in the wild. In fact, Apple’s official position is that PACMAN poses “no immediate threat” to the average user.

“We draw the conclusion that this problem does not immediately threaten our customers and is inadequate to get through device security on its own based on our investigation and the information that researchers have shared with us. According to the business, TechCrunch.

While PACMAN won’t be compromising the security of your M1 Mac anytime soon, its existence is a good reminder to install macOS updates as soon as possible – you never know what kind of new tricks a hacker might be able to use.Patched device.

 

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