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Apple pushes out silent update for Mac users to remove Zoom web server: Report

Apple has silently rolled out an update for Mac computers which removes the local web server installed by Zoom software.

Earlier this week, a US-based security researcher named Jonathan Leitschuh had publicly disclosed a major vulnerability in the Zoom video conferencing software for Apple’s Mac computers which could make any website start a video-enabled call by hacking the webcam of the system. Now, according to a report by TechCrunch, Apple has pushed out an update silently to the macOS which removes the Zoom web server.

As per the report, the US-based technology giant has confirmed the said update has been released and it is installed automatically and does not require any interaction with the user. The purpose of the update is only to remove the local web server installed by the Zoom app. The company said that it pushed the update to protect its users from the risks posed by the exposed web server.

According to Leitschuh’s claims earlier this week, even if Mac users uninstall the Zoom app from their system, the web server continues to persist and it can reinstall Zoom without the user s permission.

In a statement to The Verge and ZDNet, Zoom had said that it developed the local web server to save Mac users from too many clicks, after Apple changed their Safari browser in a way that requires Zoom users to confirm that they want to launch Zoom every single time. Zoom also said that it will tweak the app such that it will save the user s and administrator s preferences for whether the video will be turned on, or not, when they first join a call.

However, it seems Apple took it upon itself to rescue its users from the security vulnerability posed by Zoom app. The silent update was all the more needed because Zoom had installed a local web server that could reinstall the app even if the user had previously uninstalled it.

According to the TechCrunch report, Apple has often pushed out silent updates for its Mac users to remove known malware, however, it is rare for the company to take measures against a well-known and popular app.

"We’re happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update. We expect the web server issue to be resolved today," Zoom spokesperson Priscilla McCarthy said to TechCrunch. "We appreciate our users’ patience as we continue to work through addressing their concerns."

Also Read|Security flaw on Zoom app could allow Mac webcams to be hacked

Over four million users across 750,000 companies around the world use Zoom for video conferencing, the report said.