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Apple apps on Big Sur bypass firewalls and VPNs — this is terrible

For all of Apple’s talk of being privacy-first, often its business speak doesn’t match up with what it’s absolutely doing. And the latest example? Well, it’s Apple apps on Big Sur bypassing firewalls and VPNs.

I don’t need to tell you just how annoying this is.

The issue was first spotted in the macOS Big Sur beta by Cheep user @mxswd all the way back in October. They had this to say:

This was accepted and broadcast upon by Patrick Wardle, a aegis researcher at Jamf.

Effectively, Wardle says that antecedent versions of macOS accustomed a firewall or VPN to be set up using the Network Kernel Extension. But this isn’t the case in Big Sur.

What Wardle found is that the Mac App Store on the latest macOS bypasses any firewall. For all intents and purposes, its cartage is airy to firewalls. What’s accident is that Apple apps on Big Sur are alpha to accomplish alfresco the user’s control. Which is abhorrent news.

This story was brought to light on Apple Term, but many affected it would be fixed when Big Sur was appear to the accepted public. This hasn’t happened.

The catechism you might be asking next is so what? What’s the issue here?

Well, aside from ascendancy over , Apple apps on Big Sur being able to bypass firewalls and VPNs is a huge aloofness and aegis issue. Wardle showed on Cheep how easy it is for malware to accomplishment this gap:

What this amounts to is that bad actors could accomplishment this hole in Apple apps on Big Sur to send out your claimed data to remote servers. This should worry everyone.

The big catechism though is  the company’s doing this. So far, it hasn’t said why Apple apps on Big Sur are exempt from firewalls and VPNs, but there are some theories.

One school of anticipation is that this makes it harder for users to pretend they’re in altered countries, acceptation it can be stricter on licensing issues. Another is that Apple wants to keep its apps’ data and cartage out of VPN servers.

Whatever the reason, I acutely doubt its good enough to excuse Apple’s accomplishments here.

If you want to accept added what this sort of action does, I’d acclaim you go and read this piece from Jeffrey Paul about why your computer isn’t yours. It’s a sobering look at the world we’re living in, where

So much for Apple being privacy-first, hey?

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Published November 16, 2020 — 09:11 UTC

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