- Aug 3, 2004
Effectively, Wardle says that previous versions of macOS allowed a firewall or VPN to be set up using the Network Kernel Extension. But this isn’t the case in Big Sur.
What Wardle found is that the Mac App Store on the latest macOS bypasses any firewall. For all intents and purposes, its traffic is invisible to firewalls. What’s happening is that Apple apps on Big Sur are beginning to operate outside the user’s control. Which is terrible news.
This story was brought to light on Apple Term, but many assumed it would be fixed when Big Sur was released to the general public. This hasn’t happened.
The question you might be asking next is so what? What’s the issue here?
Well, aside from control over your own system, Apple apps on Big Sur being able to bypass firewalls and VPNs is a huge privacy and security issue. Wardle showed on Twitter how easy it is for malware to exploit this gap: