Written by WATYF on Thursday, 03 August 2006 (6410 hits)
Category: Apple Bashing
In my continuing quest for things I can use to make fun of Macs and Mac users as much as possible, I stumbled across a little article today about some very interesting vulnerabilities in the latest Macs.
It appears that a couple of hackers have found a way to completely take over a Macbook in mere seconds, using nothing but it's wireless connection. That's right... completely take over the machine. Not just plant some trojan on it... or run some spyware in the background... but gain complete control over your machine, as if they are sitting at the keyboard themselves (doing things like deleting all of your important files and saying mean things to your friends using your iChat). Apparently, one of their motivations for presenting a demo of a Mac being hacked was what they called the "Mac user base aura of smugness on security". Which, as you all know... I would staunchly disagree with... I mean really... Mac users...? Smug...? That's just ridiculous!
Anyway... I would say that this is a pretty good find.... but that would be the understatement of the year... so I won't. Instead, I'll just tell you more about the hack (and how you can witness it yourself), while throwing in a couple stabs at Mac users, just for kicks.
So anyway, there are these two computer security experts, who apparently like to go around breaking into computers in their spare time (or something like that ) and they presented (or are going to present) a video of the hack at some conference in Vegas... or whatever (these details weren't nearly as important as "a Mac got hacked", so I kinda glossed over them ).
You can see a video of the hack being performed on the above link, and from what I've read about it, it's quite impressive. Your Macbook needs only to be on... that's about it. You don't have to be connected to any local wireless networks, or using the internet... or anything. You just have to have a Macbook that has a wireless card (which is... well... pretty much every single one of them ).
They say that this exploit hasn't made it out into "the wild" yet... which means that these two guys may be the only ones who know about it... or, they aren't, and we just haven't heard about the other people who are using this exploit to do bad things. But even though I'm an incredibly nice guy (as anyone who knows me can attest to ), a part of me would actually enjoy seeing this thing get out into the wild, and I think the hackers who pulled this off might be thinkin' the same thing... after all, my favorite quote from the article is, "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." Ahh.... a man after my own heart. So maybe it'll do these Mac users a bit of good to know, first-hand, that they aren't impervious to security flaws....
I can see it now... a hacker walks into a Starbucks... full of preppy college kids and wannabe musicians typing away on their Macs... while they frantically update their MySpace pages... and sip their soy lattes and half-cafs... in their overpriced jeans... with their backwards hair... all the while thinking, "My computer is so superior and secure. And it's trendy and good looking, which really helps me with my low self-esteem issues. That almost makes it worth the fact that I had to take that third job at the Waffle House just so I could afford a Mac... man, I sure hope my trendy, Mac-using friends don't find out about that... they'd shun me for sure... and then all my efforts to buy expensive electronics just to impress my friends will be futile.......... oh look... my favorite Keane song just started on my iPod." ....then the hacker picks a random victim from the crowd (by choosing the one with the most obnoxious hairdo). Within seconds he has control of the poor Mac user's computer... he starts deleting core system files and answering all the "Are you sure?" prompts... then he opens iChat and sends messages to all of the contacts, accusing them all of shopping at Walmart instead of Target... then he opens the user's MySpace page and updates the "About Me" section to include a not-so-veiled reference to a public "coming out of the closet" event in the next few days. Meanwhile, the stunned Mac user watches in horror, unable to stop it, knowing that all of his friends (being insulted in the most grievous manner) will never speak to him again... (being that he's a Mac user, chances are that he's gay anyway, and that he doesn't really know what "core system files" are, so those those other parts probably didn't bother him that much. )
Yeah... I reckon if that happened a few times, and word about it got out, then that whole "aura of smugness" would fade away just like all the Mac users' arguments about how the PPC chips were so much faster than Intel chips.