Apple removes the functionality that allowed its apps to bypass macOS firewalls and VPNs

Image: Markus Spiske

Apple removed a controversial feature from the macOS operating system that allowed Apple’s 53 apps to bypass third-party firewalls, security tools, and user-installed VPN apps for their protection.

Known as the ContentFilterExclusionList, the list was included in macOS 11, also known as Big Sur.

The exclusion list included some of Apple’s largest apps, such as the App Store, Maps, and iCloud, and was physically located on disk at: /System/Library/Frameworks/NetworkExtension.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/Info.plist .

Image: Simone Margaritelli

Its presence was discovered last October by several security researchers and app makers who realized that their security tools were unable to filter or inspect traffic for some of Apple’s applications.

Security researchers like Patrick Wardle and others, …

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