Security researchers Peter Dantini and Patrick Wardle discovered that Apple inadvertently passed a well-known form of malware for use on Mac systems through its notarization process.
Applications submitted for notarization are scanned for security issues and malicious content, with those deemed safe allowed by the Mac's built-in Gatekeeper screener.
The researchers found notarization granted Mac access to a malicious Adobe Flash installer used by the Shlayer malware.
Wardle said Apple failed to detect the malware when it was submitted and approved, even on the unreleased beta version of macOS Big Sur.
Although Apple revoked the notarized payloads after Wardle alerted the company, he said the hackers released a new payload that again successfully bypassed Mac security.
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