Newsletter Issue #931: Yet Another Questionable
Reason to Feel Insecure About Your Mac

October 2nd, 2017

After I wrote a piece about the latest effort to push antivirus software onto the storage devices of Mac users, I came across another story about security, only this one appears to be dealing with a factual issue. But even then the fears may be overblown, and what about other computing platforms where the potential issues are far worse?

As most of you know, there is a small piece of software that is run by your Mac when it’s first turned on. The latest technology is known as the Extensible Firmware Interface, EFI. It takes the Mac through a process where it identifies the hardware, makes sure there are no critical errors, such as bad RAM, and turns the startup chores over to the macOS.

Every so often, Apple will issue firmware patches to fix bugs or possibly to deal with potential vulnerabilities to security exploits. And there have been a few of those through the years. What’s more, there was a recent report about the firmware-based tools such intelligence agencies as the CIA might use to break into one of these computers.

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