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Few times I've had to forcibly shut Mac down by holding power button.

I heard it causes file system damage.

Could any of such corruption to file system weaken Mac's overall security, damage files OS uses for security purposes?

For example Gatekeeper not functioning properly (allowing something to slip through), Mac's own anti-malware checker letting something slip, some Apple's security updates not working - overall something in system weakening so that malicious party could gain access to Mac through Internet.

I have asked about hard drive damage here. Can damaged hard drive weaken Mac's security? This ask is about file system damage. I hope this isn't breaking rules, but for me they are different categories I started thinking about while learning more.

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Great Question!

There used to be a time when Mac's power button used to be known as certain death if you had to use it.

A forced shutdown does not damage your hardware, and neither does it weaken your security.

However, it could potentially corrupt your files if you are turning off the computer while they are open or being used (rather common in older models). These files can be anything, from a simple text file, to a bash script, or even to system files (ex. from an update).

Because of this, there's no direct link between your system getting corrupted and your security being compromised. If your system has become corrupted to the point that services fail to load or critical files cannot be loaded (happens if you shutdown computers during intensive operations) you will most likely know about it because your computer will fail to boot, or throw errors.

A corruption in your computer will not suddenly open ports in your firewall, set your password to null, or let programs take over your computer and steal your identity.

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    Thank you for reply! I'd like to specify: if system files can get corrupted, then wouldn't that mean security files could also get corrupted? Wouldn't that weaken security? Or does it mean that if some of OS' security files get corrupted, OS will notify me? – Rodercik Feb 17 '17 at 11:41
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    OS won't notify you Security Files are corrupted, instead an app might show errors, or your computer will only boot in Safe Mode. It really depends on what type of Security files you are talking about, however these scenarios are extremely rare, and are super unlikely to happen. – Rushil Srivastava Feb 17 '17 at 22:30
  • Thank you very much! Last question then with adding concrete names: could Gatekeeper stop functioning or malfunction in a way it weakens/let's something through due to OS file corruption and if yes, would I notice it? (By Gatekeeper I mean Gatekeeper and Mac's inherent malware detection along with quarantine awareness - the function where it checks new downloaded files and asks if I want to install them or warns me if there is something malicious inside of them). As you already mentioned Firewall won't be weakening I know to not check it all the time. :D – Rodercik Feb 17 '17 at 22:39
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    No, like I mentioned in my answer, only files that are currently being accessed (as in you are writing to them actively) during a forced shutdown would become corrupted. Gatekeeper does not write data, therefore making it impossible to become corrupted from a forced shutdown. – Rushil Srivastava Feb 17 '17 at 22:45
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    Nope, not at all. Thinking of calling Gatekeeper when you open a file, and the Gatekeepr is reading that file, not writing to it. There is no option in corruption for such an operation. – Rushil Srivastava Feb 17 '17 at 22:55
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Short answer is No.

You are most likely to suffer other issues such as a corrupted OS or corrupted apps.

Your macOS depends highly on RAM. RAM flush to hard disk every once a while. it do it faster if there is a installation running or you are saving a file.

Now if during this flushing to SSD hard disk, if suddenly OS get forced shutdown, file that is is saving at that moment will get corrupted.

You can be lucky for few times but eventually you will end up with lot of corrupted files if you keep repeat force shutdown for a while.

  • Thank you for reply! I'd like to specify: if system files can get corrupted, then wouldn't that mean security files could also get corrupted? Wouldn't that weaken security? Or does it mean that if some of OS' security files get corrupted, OS will notify me? – Rodercik Feb 17 '17 at 11:41
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    If a system file get corrupted, you will not see a notification. Instead, a system app might drop an error when opening or in worst case, OS wont bootup. If this happens, it won't weaken your security at all. it will just make you unable to use some features. You need to boot into safemode and run First Aid using Disk Utility to fix most of the issues. and if issue persist, you can reinstall macOS without losing any of your data – Armin Nikdel Feb 17 '17 at 16:20
  • Thank you very much! Last question: could Gatekeeper stop functioning or malfunction in a way it weakens/let's something through due to OS file corruption and if yes, would I notice it? (By Gatekeeper I mean Gatekeeper and Mac's inherent malware detection along with quarantine awareness - the function where it checks new downloaded files and asks if I want to install them or warns me if there is something malicious inside of them) – Rodercik Feb 17 '17 at 19:10
  • Features such as Gatekeeper are not separate from OS, they are integrated into OS and if anything happen to OS, you will experience bigger problems such as inability to login into your user account – Armin Nikdel Feb 19 '17 at 15:32

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