Security conference targets the Mac in Wi-Fi demo

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Security conference targets the Mac in Wi-Fi demo

Antony Savvas

The Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week saw an Apple laptop used to demonstrate the latest Wi-Fi hacks.

The Mac operating system is often cited to be more secure than the dominant Windows system, but security researchers David Maynor and Jon Ellch proved otherwise with their wireless Mac attacks.

They have found ways to seize control of laptop computers by taking advantage of buggy code in wireless device drivers.

At the conference, the researchers showed how to use sophisticated hacking tools to add and remove files on a Wi-Fi-enabled MacBook, using an adjacent laptop.

Wireless-enabled devices are trained to constantly sniff out new networks, but this can lead to security problems when driver software is buggy.

Intel this week issued patches to protect its Intel Centrino Wi-Fi laptop system from hacks similar to those demonstrated at the conference.

Maynor and Ellch are now working with Apple to address the flaws demonstrated.

 

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