MacBook patch prevents malware threat from taking screenshots — update your macOS now

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Andrew Brookes/Getty Images)

Apple's macOS Big Sur 11.4 update is now available to download, adding support for Apple Music's lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, and for Apple Podcasts subscriptions. However, it also patches a dangerous exploit.

The tech giant's latest version of macOS prevents malware from taking screenshots on unsuspecting victim's MacBooks. Users will want to update to the most recent version of macOS, now. 

Security researchers Trend Micro originally found a nasty ongoing malware campaign attacking M1 MacBook models via a zero-day exploit, with the XCSSET malware even having the potential to steal a user's cryptocurrency information.

As spotted by software researchers at Jamf (via TechCrunch), another zero-day has been discovered that can secretly take screenshots of a victim’s screen.

According to the post, the malware skips macOS asking permission for apps such as WhatsApp, Slack, or Zoom to record a screen or access the webcam. It can even prevent being flagged by macOS's security once it injects malicious code into the app.

While the post states the malware attack was mainly used to take screenshots, it could also be used to access a MacBook's microphone and even capture keystrokes to obtain passwords or financial information.

Apple has confirmed to TechCrunch that it has now fixed the issue with macOS 11.4. To update to the latest version of macOS, be sure to head into your MacBook model's "Software Update" section in System Preferences.

This is yet another malicious software bug that has slipped through macOS' reputable security defenses. Apple isn't happy about this, as the head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, recently stated that the Cupertino giant has a "level of malware on the Mac that we don't find acceptable."

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.