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Apple (AAPL) Updates MacOS to Address Zoom Vulnerability

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) has reportedly updated macOS to remove the vulnerable web server installed by Zoom to automatically add a user to a video call, unsolicited.

Taking advantage of Zoom's click-to-join feature, the hidden web server was installed obscurely when users download the Zoom app on their Apple devices.

The vulnerability was recently disclosed by researcher Jonathan Leitschuh, who claimed that it was through this flaw that the undocumented web server remained installed in the Mac device, even if a user uninstalled Zoom. This allows the company to reinstall the app without any user interaction. Worryingly, this web server has poor security, enabling any website visited by the user to hack into, and make changes to users' machines.

However, the update made by Apple without an announcement, will now ask for users’ permission to open the app.

Zoom has also already released a patch for the security gap in the system a couple days ago, removing access to the web browser in question, and are taking further steps to fix the issue. As reported by TechCrunch, Zoom and Apple has teamed up to test the patch.

Although Zoom’s efforts eliminate the need for Apple to take any further step, the proactive measure taken by Apple will ensure that people running older Zoom releases won't be vulnerable. Even if the practical threat of someone using the exploit is very low, and it isn’t a big issue unless a user is regularly using Mac devices for corporate video conversations, both Apple and Zoom wanted to eliminate any possibility of a bigger security breach issue. More than 4 million users across 750,000 companies around the world use Zoom for video conferencing.

Apple Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Apple Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Apple Inc. revenue-ttm | Apple Inc. Quote

Why Is the Move Essential?

This move to take measures to prevent any possible exposure of users to any type of breach reflects the pressure to be quick to address security holes in the modern tech world.

Moreover, in order to boost Mac sales, securing Mac devices is very crucial for Apple.  In the last reported quarter, Mac sales, which accounted for 9.5% of sales, decreased 4.6% from the year-ago quarter to $5.51 billion.

However, we note that in the first quarter of 2019, despite an overall decline in PC shipments and a 0.5% decline in Mac shipments, Apple’s share of the market increased marginally from 6.8% to 6.9%.

We therefore believe that Apple’s ability to address security breaches and other issues will help it attract and retain customers in the increasingly competitive environment,

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Apple currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A couple of better-ranked stocks in the broader Computer and Technology sector are Nikon Corp. (NINOY - Free Report) and Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. (UBNT - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Nikon and Ubiquiti is projected to be 1%, and 19.84%, respectively.

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