Apple Keyboards Can Be Hacked, Proof-of-concept Already Showcased
Article by George Norman
On 05 Aug 2009
When you think of computer security, the usual threats normally come to mind, things like viruses, Trojans, spyware, spam, malware and so on. The topic rarely focuses on a computer’s keyboard, unless of course you have keyloggers in mind. This year, at the Defcon conference in Las Vegas, a security researcher from the Georgia Institute of Technology known to us only by his nickname, K. Chen, showed the world that the Apple Keyboard poses a security threat to the Mac user.

The security researcher showcased a means of infecting the Apple Keyboard’s firmware, thus granting the attacker complete control over the targeted machine – that would be your beloved Mac. But wait, it gets better. Since the code is nestled comfortably in the keyboard, formatting the Mac’s hard drive will not get solve the problem. The only viable solution, explained K. Chen, is to throw away the infected keyboard and get another.

Advertising

“Such code could also completely bypass the remote attestation of a Trusted Platform Module, if one were present in the computer. As far as everybody is concerned, our [malicious keyboard] code is simply the user typing commands at the keyboard,” explained K. Chen.

A detailed technical paper describing how an Apple Keyboard can be compromised is available here (PDF warning).
A video demonstrating the attack on an Apple Keyboard is available on YouTube here.

It’s not just the hardware that raises security questions, it is the Mac itself. For the time being attacks on Macs are very rare and security is something that Mac users take quite lightly, According to Charlie Miller, the security expert that recently uncovered the critical iPhone SMS vulnerability, and Dai Zovi, security researcher that co-authored “The Mac Hacker’s Security Handbook” alongside Miller, this is all due to change in the future. As Apple gains more market share, the Mac is will become a tempting target to hackers. And once hackers take Macs seriously and put in the resources to target them, you can expect Macs to become as vulnerable as Windows machines are now.



Tags: Apple, Keyboard, Hacker, Defcon, Mac
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

I Hope you LIKE this blog post! Thank you!
What do YOU have to say about this
blog comments powered by Disqus
Popular News
By George Norman on 17 Aug 2017
With the blockbuster movie season upon us, Sony decided to celebrate the occasion with a sale: the Attack of the Blockbusters Sale that offers discounts of up to 50% (60% if you’re a PlayStation Plus member) on a ton of PS4 video games.
By George Norman on 17 Aug 2017
Samsung’s new T5 portable solid-state drive (PSSD) uses the latest 64-layer V-NAND technology, offers between 250GB and 2TB of storage capacity, has a lightweight and shock-resistant design that’s smaller than the average business card, and delivers industry-leading transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s.
Related News
By George Norman on 19 Jul 2017
Apple celebrated World Emoji Day by presenting 12 upcoming emoji characters that will be available across Apple devices later this year.
By George Norman on 09 Aug 2017
Android started out as an underdog, as the mobile operating system that nobody took seriously. Big-name tech companies laughed it off and critics said it would fail miserably, but Android proved them all wrong and become the powerhouse that it is today.
By George Norman on 10 Jul 2017
With technology constantly evolving, many devices become obsolete and get replaced with something that's better, smaller, and probably a lot shinier.
By George Norman on 10 Jul 2017
Did you know that life is easier on iPhone? Put down the pitchforks for a moment and let me explain. And put out those torches as well...
Sponsored Links
Hot Software Updates
Top Downloads
Become A Fan!
Link To Us!
Apple Keyboards Can Be Hacked, Proof-of-concept Already Showcased
HTML Linking Code