In a presentation at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, David Maynor, senior researcher at SecureWorks, showed a video demonstration of how a MacBook could be hacked by a nearby Dell laptop.
The demonstration was done via video, rather than live, to prevent anyone in the audience capturing the method of the attack.
"Don't think, however, just because we're attacking an Apple that the flaw itself is in an Apple. We're actually using a third party wireless card," Maynor said.
For the demonstration, Maynor set up a fake access point on the Dell laptop for the Macbook to log on to. However, he stressed, for the attack to work, the victim's machine doesn't need to be associated or authenticated with an access point.
The attack exploits poorly coded device drivers on the Apple system.
After running a script on the Dell machine, Maynor had complete control of the MacBook and was able to read, create and delete files on the compromised system.
"Although we attacked an Apple, the flaw's not specific [to] the Apple operating system as we used third party hardware," Maynor commented.
"This type of flaw will by systemic across all operating systems and hardware and the only way to prevent it is proper testing."
The full video of the Apple MacBook hack is available on the Washington Post Security Fix blog.
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