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[ARS] How a security researcher discovered the Apple battery "hack"

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...ttery-hack.ars

Quote:
A security "noob" mistake has left the batteries in Apple's laptops open to hacking, which could result in a bricked battery or, in a worst case scenario, fire or explosion. This was revealed on Friday after Accuvant Labs security researcher Charlie Miller disclosed that he plans to detail the hack at the annual Black Hat security conference in early August.

We were curious as to how Miller, known for repeated hacks of Apple's Safari Web browser at the annual Pwn2Own hacking competition, stumbled upon this hack in the first place—after all, it is somewhat obscure and doesn't fall into what most people consider to be his typical focus area (browsers). Miller took time to answer our questions about what the hack is and how he found it, as well as what he plans to do when Black Hat rolls around.

The vulnerability

Didn't know if i should put this under hardware or tech Hm. thats a pretty cool hack though
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post #2 of 21
I've seen it, pretty cool. Could do some serious damage with a javadrive by fake wifi access point at a college. Would be so funny to sit and watch the computers expload..
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
even though i despise apple laptops, i would never do this if i were given the tools to do so. Its too dangerous and could cost the lives of many people
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post #4 of 21
The battery would blow up, inside, it will not be a big enough explosion to kill someone ( if it even is an explosion). I would say he will make the battery overload and melt.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks keep you warm View Post
The battery would blow up, inside, it will not be a big enough explosion to kill someone ( if it even is an explosion). I would say he will make the battery overload and melt.

yes it will skip to 2:00 and watch the explosion from that battery. Your saying thats not even big enough?
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post #6 of 21
Yikes. Sure would not like that to be sitting on my lap.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedark1337 View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMy2_qNO2Y0

yes it will skip to 2:00 and watch the explosion from that battery. Your saying thats not even big enough?
I bet it took more amps than a laptop charger can supply. if swells that much i'd imagine it would forec it's self out of the laptop disconnecting it's self first, possibly.
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoublejj View Post
I bet it took more amps than a laptop charger can supply. if swells that much i'd imagine it would forec it's self out of the laptop disconnecting it's self first, possibly.
This ^. Also any commercial battery will have safety circuits to avoid this.
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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdoublejj View Post
I bet it took more amps than a laptop charger can supply. if swells that much i'd imagine it would forec it's self out of the laptop disconnecting it's self first, possibly.
It would probably melt/ release insane amounts of heat.

Would make computer super hot with that solid aluminum body.
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner View Post
It would probably melt/ release insane amounts of heat.

Would make computer super hot with that solid aluminum body.
I don't doubt that, I bet it still can do some serious damage.
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