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Apple Laptop Hacker Speaks
'Apple PR Smear Campaign'
by Karl Bode 09:22AM Tuesday Sep 05 2006
One of the hackers responsible for the bogus Apple Wi-Fi exploit demonstration last month has broken his silence, and seems to suggest the entire affair is simply an Apple smear campaign. "Cache" has been slammed because the presenters admitted they modded the hacked laptop, since the original driver that ships from Apple was not vulnerable to the specific attack they were demonstrating. There's an extended conversation on the DailyDave Security Mailing List.

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gattaca
Premium
join:2003-05-28
USA

Well, duh

Well, obviously it was a "PR smear campaign." What else could it have been, after the gutsy "Mac's don't get viruses" ad?

And it seems to have backfired quite nicely. Way to support the Apple ads, Cache.
--
The RIAA - nearly as idiotic as our patent system.

insomniac84

join:2002-01-03
Schererville, IN

1 recommendation

Re: Well, duh

said by gattaca:

And it seems to have backfired quite nicely. Way to support the Apple ads, Cache.
Not really, those that like apple still like apple, those that don't still don't. All this does is help the 40 year old virgin apple fanatics living in their parents' basements to sleep better at night.

Paladin
Sage of the light

join:2001-08-17
Chester, IL

Re: Well, duh

Are you sure you're not talking about the hackers themselves?

I think you're getting things 180 degrees out of phase.

bassthumpa
Premium
join:2000-12-26
Austin, TX

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: Well, duh

Meanwhile you both look kinda silly exchanging internet insults over platform dedication. Congrats, I guess.

-M
--
My Yahoo! 360° Page

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

1 edit

Re: Well, duh

Meanwhile you both look kinda silly exchanging internet insults over platform dedication. Congrats, I guess.

-M
Isn't this where the Nelson Muntz HAW-HAW goes?
--
Never ask what sort of a computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him? -Tom Clancy

AnonProxy
Premium
join:2001-05-12
Pot meet kettle...calling a guy a loser because of his choice of OS is pretty gai.

jtimson

join:2000-08-10
Tuckahoe, NY

Re: Well, duh

said by insomniac84:

said by gattaca:

And it seems to have backfired quite nicely. Way to support the Apple ads, Cache.
Not really, those that like apple still like apple, those that don't still don't. All this does is help the 40 year old virgin apple fanatics living in their parents' basements to sleep better at night.
Actually I have a room over the garage, thank you very much
--
"You can never tell how deep a puddle is from the top" Dennis the Menace

insomniac84

join:2002-01-03
Schererville, IN

Re: Well, duh

said by jtimson:

Actually I have a room over the garage, thank you very much
Makes sense, apple users are supposed to think different.
Expand your moderator at work

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Cute Name

Johnny Cache? Lemme guess, this guy lives in his mom's basement and walks around with a slingshot in his back pocket?

I'd like to compliment these losers on how "successful" their smear campaign against Apple was (I do not yet own a Mac). If anything, you made Mac people even more smug in knowing that even if they do use a 3rd party wireless adapter and some buggy drivers, that they will still be safe from this "hack."
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

johnny cache

@verizon.net

Re: Cute Name

quote:
Johnny Cache?
Didn't he sing songs???

Perhaps he wrote one about a "Bad Apple?"

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by pnh102:

Johnny Cache? Lemme guess, this guy lives in his mom's basement and walks around with a slingshot in his back pocket?
My mental image was more along the lines of "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpson's, but this will do.

said by pnh102:

I'd like to compliment these losers on how "successful" their smear campaign against Apple was (I do not yet own a Mac). If anything, you made Mac people even more smug in knowing that even if they do use a 3rd party wireless adapter and some buggy drivers, that they will still be safe from this "hack."
Not all Mac users are smug, just look at my post sig!
--
Never ask what sort of a computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him? -Tom Clancy

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Cute Name

said by N3OGH:

My mental image was more along the lines of "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpson's, but this will do.
Well... even Comic Book Guy had a job, lived on his own, and even got some action, so this is probably not the best comparison... heck, even Hans Moleman is cooler than these wannabe punks.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

said by pnh102:

If anything, you made Mac people even more smug...
I don't think you can get more smug than a prius driving powerbook owner war driving in Cupertino.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

Re: Cute Name

How about a Z-71 Silverado driving Mac Book Pro owner driving to a bar in Boothwyn,PA?

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by inteller:

said by pnh102:

If anything, you made Mac people even more smug...
I don't think you can get more smug than a prius driving powerbook owner war driving in Cupertino.
You forgot "Starbucks swilling" before "prius driving".
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

How many Apple users use 3rd party wireless cards?

presenters admitted they modded the hacked laptop, since the original driver that ships from Apple was not vulnerable to the specific attack they were demonstrating.
I guess whether Apple laptops are vulnerable or not might depend on how many of them use 3rd party wireless cards in their laptops. Given all the newer wireless products out now promising faster speeds(pre-N, etc), I suspect there may be a reasonable percentage of users that may be vulnerable.
--
--
Join Red Room Forum
BLOG tkjunkmail.blogspot.com
My Web Page

MarkyD
Premium
join:2002-08-20
Oklahoma City, OK

Re: How many Apple users use 3rd party wireless cards?

said by FFH:

presenters admitted they modded the hacked laptop, since the original driver that ships from Apple was not vulnerable to the specific attack they were demonstrating.
I guess whether Apple laptops are vulnerable or not might depend on how many of them use 3rd party wireless cards in their laptops. Given all the newer wireless products out now promising faster speeds(pre-N, etc), I suspect there may be a reasonable percentage of users that may be vulnerable.
nope, hardly. All portable Macs have come with built in wireless standard for years now. I'd say 98% or more of Mac users use the built in wireless.
--
-Put this in your profile if you know someone who is fighting, has survived, or died from ninja attacks.

R4M0N
Brazilian Soccer Ownz Joo

join:2000-10-04
Glen Allen, VA

1 recommendation

Re: How many Apple users use 3rd party wireless cards?

said by MarkyD:

said by FFH:

presenters admitted they modded the hacked laptop, since the original driver that ships from Apple was not vulnerable to the specific attack they were demonstrating.
I guess whether Apple laptops are vulnerable or not might depend on how many of them use 3rd party wireless cards in their laptops. Given all the newer wireless products out now promising faster speeds(pre-N, etc), I suspect there may be a reasonable percentage of users that may be vulnerable.
nope, hardly. All portable Macs have come with built in wireless standard for years now. I'd say 98% or more of Mac users use the built in wireless.
And of those 98%, I'd say:
72% like walks on the beach
45% drink coffe with two cubes of sugar
45% tune in for monday night football
33% are females
10% are criminals
12% like gouda cheese
.5% are allergic to vodka

felony
guiding you home
Premium
join:1999-12-05
Aurora, CO

Re: How many Apple users use 3rd party wireless cards?

12% like gouda cheese

That's no gouda.

photomankc
Puffy And Prickly
Premium
join:2001-06-13
Liberty, MO
And what would you "say" this based on?

Yauch

join:2005-06-24

1 recommendation

I think you sort of missed the point of that post. Nobody cares that Macs come with a "built in wireless standard". He was talking about a specific wireless standard, the N standard, that is on the horizon, soon to be released, etc... I would agree that the number of Apple users on 3rd party cards is pretty low at this point, but it's going to go up dramatically sometime soon.

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

1 recommendation

said by FFH:

I guess whether Apple laptops are vulnerable or not might depend on how many of them use 3rd party wireless cards in their laptops. Given all the newer wireless products out now promising faster speeds(pre-N, etc), I suspect there may be a reasonable percentage of users that may be vulnerable.
What amuses me about all this is how even though this same hack works on Windows, that's not news at all. Those guys are used to be rooted left and right I suppose so the focus is whether or not the OS-X drivers from Intel are crap or not.

OSXlover

@cox.net

Still vulnerable

The OS is still vulnerable, it's like saying Windows is safe, if you don't use 3rd party drivers. With the Windows world, you have so darn many hardware configurations, it's impossible not to use a 3rd party driver. Like I said, the OS is still not secure, if in fact it is letting a 3rd party driver make the OS insecure. This is the point that should be taken in, not a "smear" campaign. Agreed that it's a low percentage, or unlikely, however, the "hole" is there when using these 3rd party drivers - the OS shouldn't allow it, nuff said.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Wha?

said by Article :
"Cache" has been slammed because the presenters admitted they modded the hacked laptop, since the original driver that ships from Apple was not vulnerable to the specific attack they were demonstrating.
Where is this stated?
--
I have tried to see things from your point of view, but no matter how hard I try, or what I do, I just can't get my head that far up my ass.

Yauch

join:2005-06-24

Re: Wha?

At the beginning of their video. They were completely upfront about this in the demonstration video. I think the better question is how is this a scandal, and where is the outrage coming from?

Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA

1 recommendation

Re: Wha?

said by Yauch:

and where is the outrage coming from?
All the Mac zealots who have been programmed to believe that their machine is like a family member and that Jobs can do no wrong.

I find it ironic that if you say "Mac's can't be upgraded" you get jumped on by the Mac Horde explaining all the ways you can; but then when it comes to a vulnerability such as this is claiming to be the Horde comes forth with "But no one upgrades their Mac's!!!".
--
Early to rise, early to bed;
Makes a man healthy but socially dead.

c0de

join:2004-10-14
Richmond, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Wha?

i use a Mac at work, and i love it, but it is still limited compared to PCs. I think this 'exploit' is just reassuring people that own Macs that they are invincible... Lets see how well it holds up to my nail gun?

ifarrell

join:2000-08-10
Willow Spring, NC
said by Combat Chuck:

said by Yauch:

and where is the outrage coming from?
All the Mac zealots who have been programmed to believe that their machine is like a family member and that Jobs can do no wrong.

I find it ironic that if you say "Mac's can't be upgraded" you get jumped on by the Mac Horde explaining all the ways you can; but then when it comes to a vulnerability such as this is claiming to be the Horde comes forth with "But no one upgrades their Mac's!!!".
What's the point in upgrading something that's perfect already

Pake
If you can read this.... RUN

join:2001-02-22
Huntersville, NC

Re: Wha?

said by ifarrell:

What's the point in upgrading something that's perfect already
Yeah, to think, people actually upgraded their Super Nintendo's to a Playstation, when the SNES was perfect as is!

guitarzan
Premium
join:2004-05-04
Skytop, PA
said by Combat Chuck:

the Mac Horde
Is that the same bunch, who are in the "whats in your wallet" commercials ?
dda
Premium
join:2003-12-29
Bolton, MA
said by Yauch:

I think the better question is how is this a scandal, and where is the outrage coming from?
The outrage (and scandal) is coming from the report (and followup) by Brian Krebs in his Washington Post blog (»blog.washingtonpost.com/security···eco.html). Both the headline and report make it clear that they were claiming they "hacked a MacBook":

The video shows Ellch and Maynor targeting a specific security flaw in the Macbook's wireless "device driver," the software that allows the internal wireless card to communicate with the underlying OS X operating system.
That is followed by the comment about lit cigarettes:

"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," Maynor said.
However, after kicking the proverbial hornet's nest, they have not demonstrated any actual attack against a stock MacBook or against the Airport Extreme card; they claim that Apple "leaned on them" to make them use the third-party USB wireless card.

They also claim they've talked to both Apple and Atheros but both companies deny that any flaw has been shown to them. They've clammed up, claiming, "responsible disclosure" but the affected companies claim there is nothing to disclose, let along patch.

John Gruber lays it out pretty well here: »daringfireball.net/2006/08/curious_case

lolololol

@verizon.com

Re: Wha?

anyone that has worked at an apple helpdesk would probably agree that they are NOT invincible. as far as vulnerable, as a virus/malware programmer. WHY would i waste time writing a program that has a potential of infecting only a teeeeny tiny percentage of the computer owning population. If the tables were reversed and Macs were the most popular, hackers would be focussing their attentions (however short they might be) on it and i can guarantee theyd find flaws.

Scott W
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Beaverton, OR

Re: Wha?

A helpdesk job taught you how to evaluate OS security? Based on what? All the malware rampant on OS X?

Your "security through obscurity" argument is BS. If Windows was secure, it wouldn't matter how many people use it. It's crap, and anyone who has run windows even casually in the past few years knows it. They just won't admit it if the OS is more to them than a computer operating system. If it's somehow tied to their identity or ego, they resort to stupid arguments like the security through obscurity one.

BTW, Linux has disproved that idea.

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

4 recommendations

Spin away from the real problem: batteries, heat, shutdowns

WARNING: Rant below. If you are easily offended, well, ain't my fault!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

It's all moot to me. And the zealots on BOTH sides. Macs use more pc parts than ever. PCs are wanting to look like them (LianLi cases, Vista, ...).

Face it, OS X is more like windows, and windows is more like...windows.

As far as in-security, both have problems. And both can be fixed. But the funny part of this is that some hacker had to exploit (intentionally) a mac. And a 3rd party hack.

And TKJunkmail: it's doubtful there are many Powerbook G3 owners that are efficiently surfing the web with an older networkcard.(as ibooks, and later models have Airport card slot or Airport Extreme cards/slot...and not victim of this chipset hack). And if they are, I doubt the hacker would have the patience for such a slow, small storage device running (likely) OS9. (yes, you can install X but please, its cheaper to get a new MacBook then upgrade and bear with a slug). You should check up on your macs before saying that a majority are open to this...

Moot. Instead, this spins away from the bad batteries, the overheating and shutdowns, the stained cases (hurry out the door, we fix later), previous cracked hinges, the odd noises, and the fact that software makers like Adobe are STILL not IntelBinary for the Mactels. Do you hear that you spent $300 less than an equipped Dell? yep. But you don't hear that 85% of the software is emulated in Rosetta. Oh, you can run Windows XP? More work and vulnerability.

I'd rather have a Dell and MacPro than the MacPro only. And where is my Mac Pro? I ordered it when it was announced? parts constraint? Over a month. Well, atleast it's not a Dell XPS...I would never see that. This is news! Delays in the computer age! Products announced and not delivered? BlogSmucks comparing Dell 490's to MacPro and costing more is news? Not price per bang. rant rant ...

(my point is not to pick on one computer or owner or brand. My point is to state that we have had computers for how long and they still aren't self-healing, invulnerable, logistical appliances. Rather, like cars, they are marketed to be obsolete. Who's the tool now? The computer? No, the computer owner...)

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Spin away from the real problem: batteries, heat, shutdowns

"Who's the tool now? The computer? No, the computer owner..."

Bravo.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
Maggs
Life is awesome
Premium
join:2002-11-29
Woodside, NY

Well put!

The computer user is a tool. We need to upgrade and update every 5 years or so.
--
When the lights go out, just draw a KMAP, and all is good.