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Print 60 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Aug 7 at 7:35 PM

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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RE: Amen
By Pirks on 8/7/2006 7:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've been using computers 25 years now, and never gotten a single virus. So the technique is, while useful, certainly not a hard and fast requirement for a desktop user.
Well, I stopped getting virii when I switched to OS/2 2.0 in 1995, however if I see MS introducing this UAP thing into Vista and making end users suffer (at least in betas) - this IS a hard and fast requirement for desktop users now. In other words, MS does not do anything in Windows until it's required hard and fast. Be it UAP, Aero Glass, new virtual GPU based DirectX, new security overhaul - it's all required hard and fast. NOT because some Unix guru or I said so - but because market demands it, and the market is not the smartest dude to follow but when I see those OS reviews complaining about "lack of security" in Windows because it encourages home users to work as root - I conclude that market wants UAP hard and fast, let's agree on that :-) I know it won't solve Vista's potential security problems but it will definitely make it more secure.


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