Hardware attacks: New virus created that can completely wreck Apple computers

[New virus created that can completely wreck Apple computers][1]

The worm works by attacking the computer’s firmware, the software that comes pre-installed and loads the operating system

Once activated, the malware would look out for any peripherals connected to the computer, such as an Ethernet adapter, which it would then infect. The worm could then spread to any other computer to which the adapter gets connected. Once connected, the worm writes malicious code to the firmware of the MacBook.

I wonder hardware is going to become a bigger issue in the future. Little thought is given to whether hardware can be trusted but as it becomes more powerful, there is more risk.

I’d not seen Ethernet adapter’s suggested as vulnerable before. I don’t know if the ethernet adapters are becoming more sophisticated or whether they’ve always had this capability. Also, surely such an attack could become beyond Apple??.. or are Apple adapters different perhaps…
[1]: http://www.rt.com/usa/311597-new-virus-wreck-apple-computers/


For Macs the hardware is so standardised (even across models) that creating code specifically for say the ethernet firmware is ever so much more fruitful than for the 1000’s of varieties that exist for linux/windows.

No good spending time to infect H/W that is only going to work on 1 in 1000 of the 1 in 100000 computers that try and execute some virus. Easier to just stick with other methods, but apple …

I am surprised that it has not happened sooner.


Would you know if it had?.. There’s also similar HDD attacks with those being write and not readable.

I guess there are more people working as black hats in crime and for the likes of the NSA and China, than ever there are white hats trying to make public vulnerabilities. Still it doesn’t seem like an easy route to take.


What you will find is that malware checkers will adapt so that can detect infections even if device is infected. There are ways to do this. Safe will help with keeping critical data safe, assuming that we don’t see every computer infected. But if that happened we are screwed anyhow