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Hackintosh skeletons in the closet: Hidden threats and risks
Monday, August 28, 2023
A few words about Hackintosh
The word Hackintosh—a combination of the words "hack" and "Macintosh"—signifies an unofficial installation of macOS on another computer.
Why do some people need to do this if they can buy a Mac? On the Internet, people say that it is cheaper than buying a MacBook, and the computer will have increased performance. But this can be a risky venture. One needs to find, order and assemble the necessary components. Then read the configuration instructions and learn how to work with the original macOS to understand how it operates.
Even if everything is installed perfectly—which seems unlikely—there will still be hidden threats. In this article, Doctor Web specialists will present several arguments against the installation of Hackintosh and talk about the hidden threats that users may encounter.
Viruses will find you anyway
Users change their original operating system to Hackintosh and expect to completely rid themselves of the threats posed by malicious software. That's a myth.
Unlike the official, licensed macOS, Hackintosh does not have built-in protection mechanisms against viruses and other malware. This means that Hackintosh users are more vulnerable to attacks, such as data extortion or the theft of personal information.
Example. Imagine that you are using a Hackintosh and have installed a program that seems safe to you. But, in fact, this software contains hidden malicious code. After installing such a program, your personal information can be compromised. This will lead to the leak of confidential data or even financial losses.
A license is a necessary and useful thing
Hackintosh is an unlicensed solution. This means that you may have problems with operating system updates and drivers. There will be no automatic, secure updates, so Hackintosh users are looking for alternative ways to update the software. This is risky because you can install a malicious build by mistake.
Example. You have been notified of an important update. But you cannot install this update because your operating system is incompatible with it. At the same time, you have no right to ask for help from the official technical support service. This is the way to lose data or acquire system-functionality problems.
Legal nuances. Hackintosh cannot be distributed. Apple prohibits the use of its software products on non-Apple-branded computers. This is illegal and violates the brand's license agreement.
We emphasise that we are against the use of any illegal schemes and pirated software.
When you install and configure Hackintosh, you have to rely only on your own knowledge and recommendations on forums. This is not the same as getting recommendations from Apple's official support. For users without strong IT skills, this approach is very time consuming and fraught with nerves.
Example. Let's say that you have encountered the following problem: after installing Hackintosh, the Wi-Fi connection on your computer stopped working. You are trying to find a solution on the Internet and find out that many users have the same problem. The solutions suggested by the advice givers may be sophisticated or inappropriate for your situation. You will spend a lot of effort on experiments and fixes before restoring Wi-Fi functionality. Sometimes this is not the only problem, and you will have to deal with each one on your own.
The Anti-virus Times recommends
Never install Hackintosh. Despite its apparent attractiveness, it is illegal and carries hidden information security threats:
- it does not provide guaranteed protection against malware for macOS,
- it puts the functionality of the system at risk,
- it results in problems related to compatibility and access to technical support.
We'd rather you didn't lose your data or run into a computer security risk.