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Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Researchers at Okta found a severe problem in the way security programs traditionally use MacOS tools to verify which programs were written by Apple — what is known as code signing.

Why it matters: Apple's developer interface, known as an API, can be tricked so anyone writing malware can convince a bevy of security products that the malware was written by Apple. The problem here is that security products are often loath to distrust Apple and will let that malware run unfettered.

  • Josh Pitts, who discovered the bug, said that Okta does not know if any malware is currently utilizing this flaw to circumvent security programs.

Who it affects: There is no way to know the complete list of what products are vulnerable to this bug. But Okta tested a number of products, and some big name ones have problems, including F-Secure, Facebook and Carbon Black. Every software maker that Okta announced had a problem has released a patch.

  • According to Okta, Apple told the firm that developers would be responsible for correcting their implementation of the API. CERT, the government group that coordinates notifying vendors of widespread security flaws, recommended that Okta write a description of the problem to help vendors assess whether they are vulnerable.
  • That's a double-edged sword. Pitts noted that "once the blog is published, it will be easy for someone to weaponize it."
  • It's critical, said Pitts, that everyone update Mac security software.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.