At every opportunity, Apple touts the security advantages of controlling both software and hardware: it's why the “It just works” slogan has become synonymous with the company. Still, Apple now has to address an industry-wide issue that leaves a portion of Macs vulnerable to hacker attacks.
The flaw, discovered by security researchers at Duo Labs, is in the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) firmware, which sits beneath the operating system. EFI is the BIOS replacement originally developed by Intel that aims to overcome the limitations of the PC BIOS. Due to the firmware's level of privileges, if a hacker can gain access to it then their attack cannot be detected. That changes with macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which contains a tool validating the authenticity of the firmware running on the Mac.
Make sure to boot from the USB device again, and select Boot OS X Install from Install macOS Catalina once again, in verbose mode. The installation is a two-part process that continues once you re-boot into the USB drive. Finally, after about 25 more minutes, OS X. Complete this download registration form to get access to all of our EFI digital printer and productivity software downloads.
That leaves a security hole in the system, because although users might have the latest OS version installed, if the EFI firmware is an older version, it lacks the latest fixes of known firmware issues. Apple released EFI updates separately, but since 2015 the EFI update is bundled in the software update Apple has been pushing out to users. Set the format to APFS (macOS High Serria and Mojave) or Mac OS Extended (journaled) for OS X 10.12 and below. After that, click the Erase button to start the partition process. Step 6: The next thing is to merge the EFI folders from Windows EFI boot drive and the USB installer, and for this, you can use an EFI mounter like Clover Configurator.
Download CleanMyMac X from MacPaw’s website and clean up to 500MB of junk data from your computer while enjoying all the features of the software without major limitations.
The vulnerability allowed the CIA, for example, to spy on targeted Mac users, as a so-called Vault 7 cache of secret CIA documents released by WikiLeaks show. The catch is that the flaw isn't new and seems to require physical access to the Mac in order to work.
What Does That Mean to Mac Users?
After analyzing 73,000 Macs currently in use, Duo Labs has discovered a discrepancy between the firmware versions they expected the machines to be running and the actual EFI version installed. That leaves a security hole in the system, because although users might have the latest OS version installed, if the EFI firmware is an older version, it lacks the latest fixes of known firmware issues.
Apple released EFI updates separately, but since 2015 the EFI update is bundled in the software update Apple has been pushing out to users. However, if you are running one of the 16 Mac models identified by Duo Labs, there is a chance that your system hasn’t received any EFI update at all: iMac 7,1 to 10,1, MacBook 5,1 and 5,2, MacBook Air 2,1 and more.
How You Can Check the EFI Firmware Version
You can check what EFI version your system is running by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting About This Mac > System Report > Hardware. In the hardware overview section macOS displays the Model Identifier, the Boot ROM version and the SMC version number your Mac is running.
You can compare that to the firmware update number Apple lists in a support document dedicated to EFI and SMC updates for Intel-based Mac computers. Apple has stopped updating that page since September 2017.
How to Update the Firmware
If the firmware version displayed in the hardware overview is older than that listed for your Mac, then download the firmware and apply the update. Or update the operating system to at least macOS 10.12.6 Sierra, because this will include all the necessary security updates and the correct firmware.
It's important to identify your Mac model, because that's how to correctly determine which firmware you’re on and how to install the necessary update. macOS won't let you install firmware that's not developed for the model you are trying to update.
The problem is that macOS won't alert users if an EFI update has failed to install on the hardware. Therefore it’s important the user checks manually, since they won't be able to close the backdoor that hackers can access to eavesdrop or steal sensitive information, and neither can Mac optimization apps. While CleanMyMac, MacKeeper, CCleaner, OnyX and the like are highly capable apps for keeping your Mac clean, they cannot alert users about the EFI firmware vulnerability.
Unfortunately, the same goes for anti-malware apps such as MalwareBytes, due to the EFI's nature of operating beneath the operating system software. As a result we recommend spending a couple of seconds to ensure your Mac is secure by checking if it is running the latest firmware version and, if not, upgrading as soon as you can.
EFI vulnerability isn't just related to Apple. Duo Labs has said that it has chosen the Apple ecosystem as it offered the most consistent data when compared to Microsoft's Windows PCs running Intel chips. As demonstrated by hackers years ago, the EFI flaw has been present in Windows PCs, allowing hackers to exploit it and install ransomware.
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EFI Related Searches
Windows boot partition missing
EFI boot partition missing will cause your computer to have no boot partition to boot from, so you will need to create EFI partition in Windows 10, or recover missing EFI boot partition with third-party partition recovery software.
As we mentioned, the EFI partition is essential if you want to be able to boot up the operating system that you have installed on your internal hard drive. Unless you use an external hard drive to boot Windows OS rather than an internal one, you don't require an EFI partition to boot from the drive. Therefore, when the EFI boot partition in your computer accidentally gets deleted, feel no hesitate to follow the advice here to recover the deleted boot partition, or manually recreate the EFI boot partition by yourself.
Efi Pc For Mac Os 10.13
Method 1. Recover EFI partition with partition recovery software
Mac Efi Update
If you prefer a simple method to restore deleted or lost EFI partition in Windows PC, EaseUS Partition Master supports you to restore lost EFI partitions with ease in Windows 10/8/7. You may directly download this partition recovery software and follow the simple steps to restore EFI boot partition.
First of all, on a working computer, create EaseUS Partition Master WinPE bootable disk so that you can boot your computer from a WinPE environment to be able to perform the EFI partition recovery.
Next, after you can boot the computer into a normal state, it's time to restore lost EFI boot partition now.
How to automatically restore EFI boot partition Windows 10
Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master on PC
Click on 'Partition Recovery' at the top of the main window.
Step 2: Select a hard disk to search for the lost partition(s)
Choose the hard drive disk or SSD where you lost partitions, and click 'Scan'.
Step 3: Wait for the scanning process to complete.
This program will scan the whole disk with two modes - 'Quick Scan' and 'Deep Scan' to find all lost partitions and data for you.
- Quick Scan will find your latest or recently deleted partition at a fast speed.
- Deep Scan will scan and find more and earlier deleted partitions.
- If the Quick Scan doesn't find your lost partition, wait patiently till the Deep Scan completes.
During or after the scan, you can double-click the partition marked as 'Deleted' to check and view the partition content. If it contains your lost partition data, go to Step 4 and continue.
Step 4: Select and recover lost partitions
1. Select the lost partition, marked as 'Deleted' with previous Labels, capacity etc, and click 'Proceed' to continue.
2. Click 'Recover Now' to confirm and restore the lost partition.
3. Click the 'Execute Operation' button and click 'Apply' to restore lost partition.
After all the process, now your boot EFI partition is restored. You can check or redownload boot files into the EFI partition, set the computer to boot from your restored EFI partition again in BIOS. Reboot your PC and then you can continue using your computer again.
Method 2. Create EFI partition Windows 10 using CMD
Most likely, users with some computer skills are able to recreate an EFI boot partition by themselves.
Efi Mac Os
How to manually create EFI partition Windows 10
Step 1. Boot PC with Windows 10/8/7 installation media > press SHFIT + F10 on the first screen to bring up Command Prompt.
Step 2. Type the following commands and click Enter each time:
select disk #Note: Select the disk where you deleted the EFI System partition.
create partition efi
format quick fs=fat32
list volumeNote: Note the volume letter where the Windows OS is installed.
bcdboot X:windowsNote: Replace 'X' with the volume letter of the Windows OS partition.
Mac Efi Lock
BCDBoot copies the boot files from the Windows partition to the EFI System partition and creates the BCD store in the same partition.
Mac Efi Firmware
Now you can remove the Windows installation media and restart the computer.