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SecureWorks admits to falsifying MacBook wireless hack

David Chartier

[Update: To his credit, David Maynor did in fact state at the beginning and end of this video that he's using a 3rd party card and drivers in order to enable this exploit. It was later comments from David Maynor and Jon "Johnny Cache" Ellch, as well as the disclaimer SecureWorks posted, that prompted me to claim they 'admitted' to 'falsifying' this hack. While these parties might not have outright lied about what's going on here (a debate that raged back at the time), they weren't exactly clear on any of it either. I have written a new post clarifying some key points of this situation that will hopeful set this straight.]

Remember those hackers in the Washington Post story who claimed to have hacked a MacBook's wireless drivers to gain control of it? Then remember the follow-up story where the author, Brian Krebs basically, um, how shall I say: 'slightly falsified' his way through backing up the original story with excuses that the flaw does exist in Apple's drivers, but Apple 'leaned' on them not to publicize this so they decided to use a 3rd party card? Finally, remember how, in the original article, David Maynor, one of the hackers, is quoted saying "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." Boy, that sure doesn't betray any sense of 'I am going to lie, cheat and steal to prove whatever I want' bitterness, does it?

Sounds like SecureWorks, the company who sponsored all this Mac hackery, is finally fessing up to their falsification and admitting that they, in fact, did not find the flaw in Apple's drivers, and that they used a 3rd party card and software to facilitate the exploit. As icing on the cake part of a 'responsible disclosure policy,' they aren't releasing the name of the manufacturer of said 3rd party magic hacking tools. Three cheers for truth (and discretion) in journalism.

Now let's make one thing clear: we at TUAW aren't advocates of the 'Macs are flawless! Long live the prefection that is Apple!' philosophy that naysayers of this experiment are coming under fire for. We are, however, advocates of finding true vulnerabilities on the quest to make the Mac even more solid and secure. The problem here is that this experiment was not one of those quests for truth - it was a quest for, in the words of Mr. Colbert: truthiness. We're genuinely sorry you're annoyed by the commercials, Mr. Maynor (believe me: not everyone loves them), but that's why some genius some time ago invented the ability to change TV channels. Give that remote a whirl some time - it might make your life (and ours) a whole lot easier.

Thanks NotVeryPC

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