MacBooks Get Hacked Within 60 Seconds
August 4, 2006 12:46 PM
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Security experts say poor driver design leaves doors wide open
Two security researchers from Black Hat this week revealed a method in which
a MacBook can be broken into and taken control of
. In fact, the intrusion method is at such a low level that even firewalls and anti-virus applications can't help. Based on flaws in wireless network driver design, Apple's line of MacBooks -- and MacBook Pros -- allows an attacker to remotely bypass the security of the laptop and the operating system.
Jon Ellch and David Maynor from Black Hat say that drivers for Apple's notebooks are developed not in house, but outside using contracted development companies. Ellch says that often times, these development people are under so much pressure from higher management to get working drivers so that companies can rush our products to market. Under circumstances like this, drivers for devices such as wireless network processors enter "the wild" in an untested state.
However, Mayner said that "we're not picking specifically on Macs here, but if you watch those 'Get a Mac' commercials enough, it eventually makes you want to stab one of those users in the eye with a lit cigarette or something." Mayner cites that many of Apple's commercials claim that Macs don't suffer from the same security vulnerabilities that PCs do but in fact, they do.
The team at Black Hat demonstrated that they could circumvent the Wi-Fi security and OS level security in a MacBook and within just 60 seconds, were able to take complete control of the machine. Black Hat demonstrated the technique through a pre-recorded video to prevent anyone from intercepting the wireless network traffic to deconstruct the attack and release it elsewhere. Black Hat said that it has been in contact with both Apple and Microsoft, because the vulnerability exists on both sides.
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8/7/2006 9:13:11 AM
> "Since back then there was not threats like viruses going around they made [*nix] OSes secure buy preventing the them from the only known threats they knew of back then"
Um, the first computer viruses appeared in the early 1980s, long before Linux was written, and long before OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and nearly all other desktop Unix OSes were forked.
Even assuming your statement was correct, how do you feel Windows was any different? If the "only threat at the time" was from other users, then Windows, which began as a single-user non-networked OS, was immune by default.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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