Written by two experienced penetration testers the material presented discusses the basics of the OS X environment and its vulnerabilities. Including but limited to; application porting, virtualization utilization and offensive tactics at the kernel, OS and wireless level. This book provides a comprehensive in-depth guide to exploiting and compromising the OS X platform while offering the necessary defense and countermeasure techniques that can be used to stop hackers

As a resource to the reader, the companion website will provide links from the authors, commentary and updates.

Key Features

*Provides relevant information including some of the latest OS X threats

*Easily accessible to those without any prior OS X experience

*Useful tips and strategies for exploiting and compromising OS X systems

*Includes discussion of defensive and countermeasure applications and how to use them

*Covers mobile IOS vulnerabilities


Security Professionals (Security Auditors, Security Engineers,), Cyber security professionals, hackers, programmers focused on secure coding, and reverse engineers

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Why You are Reading This Book?

The Path Ahead


Chapter 2. History and Introduction to OSX

History and Introduction to OSX

Chapter 3. The Filesystem


What is a File System?

The Difference Between Memory Types

Partition Tables

Identifying GUIDs


Master Boot Records

Blessed be Thy Volume

Booting from the Network

Working up to HFS+

How a File System Works

File System Addressing

Disk Fragmentation

The File System Forefathers

File System Layouts

Hierarchical File System (circa 1985)

Microsoft File Systems

HFS Plus

Journaled HFS


Understanding Forks

Fiddling with the File System

Playing with Attributes

Hidden Files


Chapter 4. Footprinting OSX


Off the Client

On the Client


Chapter 5. Application and System Vulnerabilities


Understanding Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities are Equal Opportunity

Media Layers

Host Layers

History of Vulnerabilities in Apple Products

Mac OS X Specific

A Recent Example—Flashback

How it Works

Understanding Apple’s Security Response

Apple iOS Specific

Keeping it Under Control

Advanced Persistent Threats

Apple Script


Chapter 6. Defensive Applications


Secure Configurations

Kernel Extension Removal

Examining Commercial Tools


Chapter 7. Offensive Tactics




Chapter 8. Reverse Engineering


The Basics


Decompiling Jou


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© 2013
Electronic ISBN:
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About the authors

Robert Bathurst

Rob Bathurst is currently a cyber security researcher and penetration tester focusing on reverse engineering. He has spent over a decade doing vulnerability assessments, programming, and network engineering for the government, military, and private industry. Since his first encounter with Apple DOS at a young age, his eventual mastery of the infuriating System 7, and witnessing the advent of OS X, he has always wanted to know the inner workings of the newest Cupertino magic boxes.

Russ Rogers

Russ Rogers (CISSP, CISM, IAM, IEM, Hon. Sc.D.), author of the popular "Hacking a Terror Network: The Silent Threat of Covert Channels" (Syngress, ISBN: 978-1-928994-98-5), co-author of multiple books, including the best-selling "Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent" (Syngress, ISBN: 978-1-931836-05-0) and "Network Security Evaluation Using the NSA IEM" (Syngress, ISBN: 978-1-59749-035-1), and former editor-in-chief of The Security Journal, is currently a penetration tester for a federal agency and the co-founder and chief executive officer of Peak Security, Inc., a veteran-owned small business based in Colorado Springs, CO. Russ has been involved in information technology since 1980 and has spent the past 20 years working as both an IT and InfoSec consultant. Russ has worked with the U.S. Air Force (USAF), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and other federal agencies. He is a globally renowned security expert, speaker, and author who has presented at conferences around the world in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Singapore, São Paulo, Abu Dhabi, and cities all over the United States. Russ has an honorary doctorate of science in information technology from the University of Advancing Technology, a master's degree in computer systems management from the University of Maryland, a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems from the University of Maryland, and an associate's degree in applied communications technology from the Community College of the Air Force. He is a member of ISSA and (ISC)2® (CISSP). Russ also teaches at and fills the role of professor of network security for the University of Advancing Technology (

Alijohn Ghassemlouei

Alijohn Ghassemlouei is a Cyber Security Specialist and Certified Ethical Hacker. In his current position he administers networks Linux/Unix/OS systems in a penetration testing lab, and performs penetration testing attacking a diverse range of classified and unclassified hosts and operating systems. In addition he presents technical demonstrations and briefings to U.S. congressmen, top-level DOE officials, and DOE security conference attendees. As a Black Hat Conference Volunteer he coordinates tasks and delegates responsibilities.


"Authors Robert Bathurst, Russ Rogers and Alijohn Ghassemlouei detail the fundamentals of the OS X environment and its many vulnerabilities…The book is a like a slimmed-down version of Hacking Exposed for the Mac…in that it both shows how to attack the operating system, in addition to detailing defensive measures to stop attackers.", March 5, 2013