Apple on Wednesday released a silent update to macOS that aims to patch up the web server issue implemented by the video conferencing software Zoom.
It was recently reported that Zoom, a video conferencing app that has become one of the most popular options out there, secretly installs a web server on your Mac. That web server is present on your machine even if you uninstall the app, and it allows for some websites to hijack the webcam on the computer being used.
While Zoom responded to the issue and said it was working on a fix, with an update planned to be released soon, it looks like Apple has decided to take things into its own hands. As reported by TechCrunch, Apple has issued a silent update to macOS, which Apple has confirmed, that removes the web server.
Apple often pushes silent signature updates to Macs to thwart known malware — similar to an anti-malware service — but it’s rare for Apple to take action publicly against a known or popular app. The company said it pushed the update to protect users from the risks posed by the exposed web server.
Up to this point, Zoom has confirmed that the web server exists, and that it implemented the “feature” in an effort to make it easier for Zoom users to join video conferences with just one click. However, that web server is the reason some sites can hijack not only the webcam, but also the microphone of an unsuspecting user.
Zoom recently confirmed that it would update the video conferencing app for macOS over time, adding fixes to patch the major vulnerability in the desktop operating system.
Apple and Zoom apparently worked together to release the silent update:
Zoom spokesperson Priscilla McCarthy told TechCrunch: “We’re happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update. We expect the web server issue to be resolved today. We appreciate our users’ patience as we continue to work through addressing their concerns.
This was a major vulnerability, and while it’s good that Zoom eventually got around to fixing the issue late on Tuesday night, it’s even better that Apple stepped in so quickly (once the news went public) and made sure that both past and future Zoom users are protected.
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