AOH :: ISN-2911.HTM

RE: Security Firm Disclaims Mac Hack Demo




RE: Security Firm Disclaims Mac Hack Demo
RE: Security Firm Disclaims Mac Hack Demo



Forwarded from: "jpippin"  

> A responsible demonstration policy would have forbidden the 
> installation of flawed drivers to make a point.

> Apple sees the clarification as vindication. "Despite SecureWorks 
> being quoted saying the Mac is threatened by the exploit demonstrated 
> at Black Hat, they have provided no evidence that in fact it is," 
> Apple spokesperson Lynn Fox said in a statement. "To the contrary, the 
> SecureWorks demonstration used a third party USB 802.11 device "...

If anyone in newsreporting land was paying any attention, they would've 
noticed that the video which Maynor and Ellch played to show the exploit 
repeatedly mentions that they are using a third party driver - not the 
default Mac drivers. Repeatedly mentions it. Repeatedly.

As for what the InformationWeek writer thinks is appropriate, I'd prefer 
that he make comments that don't make it so glaringly obvious that he 
uses a Mac and wishes to defend its virtue. The rhetoric about those 
naughty, nay, irresponsible security demonstrators allowing flawed 
driver use is absurd. It was an exploit demo. Exploit demos demo flawed 
code.

A Mac was used. So what? Be happy that the presenters used a Mac. In 
part, it means the brand is making some further traction with the 
security world elite. Why is it that when the Mac is treated the same as 
PC and put on an even playing field from a security standpoint that 
suddenly the presenters are irresponsible monsters? Thomas should show 
some lack of blatant bias in his reporting, or at least admit it.

Joel Pippin
President
Secure Network Administration, Inc.



-----Original Message-----
From: isn-bounces@infosecnews.org [mailto:isn-bounces@infosecnews.org] 
On Behalf Of InfoSec News
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 1:40 AM
To: isn@infosecnews.org 
Subject: [ISN] Security Firm Disclaims Mac Hack Demo

http://www.informationweek.com/internet/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=192201815 

By Thomas Claburn
InformationWeek
Aug 17, 2006

In a video presented at the Black Hat USA conference in early August, 
SecureWorks researcher David Maynor and Jon Ellch demonstrated hacking 
into a MacBook, setting off a flurry of press coverage about the 
insecurity of Wi-Fi-enabled computers from Apple and PC vendors.

Now it seems SecureWorks is backing away from its suggestion that 
MacBooks are just as vulnerable as other Wi-Fi-capable computers. The 
company has posted a disclaimer on its site to make it clear that the 
demonstration at Black Hat used a modified MacBook.

"This video presentation at Black Hat demonstrates vulnerabilities found 
in wireless device drivers," the disclaimer says. "Although an Apple 
MacBook was used as the demo platform, it was exploited through a 
third-party wireless device driver - not the original wireless device 
driver that ships with the MacBook. As part of a responsible disclosure 
policy, we are not disclosing the name of the third-party wireless 
device driver until a patch is available."

A responsible demonstration policy would have forbidden the installation 
of flawed drivers to make a point.

Apple sees the clarification as vindication. "Despite SecureWorks being 
quoted saying the Mac is threatened by the exploit demonstrated at Black 
Hat, they have provided no evidence that in fact it is," Apple 
spokesperson Lynn Fox said in a statement. "To the contrary, the 
SecureWorks demonstration used a third party USB 802.11 device " not the 
802.11 hardware in the Mac " a device which uses a different chip and 
different software drivers than those on the Mac. To date, SecureWorks 
has not shared or demonstrated any code in relation to the Black 
Hat-demonstrated exploit that is relevant to the hardware and software 
that we ship."


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