Thought your Mac was secure?  Did you know it is possible to turn the battery into a dead brick, or worse, possibly make it overcharge? How about permanently infect your computer (at least until the battery is replaced)?

The battery in MacBooks contains a chip with firmware that can be overwritten, potentially destroying the battery.  Since the chip is flashable, malware could store malicious code in the battery’s firmware, a location most security applications cannot reach so they cannot detect or remove the malware.   The vulnerability was detected by Charlie Miller, a noted security expert famous for winning free Apple products at the annual Pwn2Own security conference and contest by ‘hacking’ fully patched Apple products, sometimes in mere seconds.  Charlie presented this vulnerability at the Black Hat conference this July.

This is not a problem unique to the Mac, but Charlie Miller has already demonstrated the hack for Apple Macbooks. Just what will Charlie have in mind for Pwn2Own 2012?



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