I just read about the ‘Apple Battery Hack‘ where by specially crafted code could brick an Apple laptop battery.
Luckily the author who discovered the hack provided Apple with the information so they can fix it. Hopefully soon.
Imagine if hackers created a virus that took advantage of the bug and infected your laptop, threatened you to pay a ransom or else they render your laptop inoperable? You are probably saying to yourself, ‘Apple doesn’t get viruses’, which is completely false. Just look at what happened with ‘Mac Defender‘. Websites were created in order to trick people to download and install the software, because the software looked legitimate. Lo and behold it was a virus. Hats off to those of you who can’t be tricked, but there were many who were duped.
As of July 28, 2011 an Apple laptop batteries costs $129 USD. How many times are you willing to replace the battery before you give in to the hackers demands?
I’m not saying it’s the end of the world either and freak out. Nothing can be done until Apple releases a fix. Until then, you need to stay vigilant and be aware of what you install on your computer. Someone else would have to discover how the vulnerability works and then create a conceivable way of delivering it and infecting a user with it. By then, Apple will have likely released a fix for it. It’s up to you apply the fix.
The moral of the story is, keep your operating system software up to date. Be it MAC or Windows. As the article pointed out other laptops weren’t tested, and they could conceivably be affected by the same type of issue.
Software vulnerabilities will always exist in any platform, either in the past, present or future. This includes MAC OS X, Windows 7, any flavour of Linux and BSD etc.
Vulnerable software is a fact of life. However there are processes that companies can take to mitigate the vulnerabilities that exist.
As an aside, I’m noticing an increasing trend, particularly amongst MAC users, that believe they are impervious to malicious software who feel they don’t need to take the same precautions as WIndows users would. (running anti-virus, firewall etc.).
This lax behavior will only contribute to an increase in malicious software aimed specifically at MAC users.
The more users let their guard down, the more likely their computers will become infected.
Developing software to not be as vulnerable is a challenging process, therefore, users must take the initiative in protecting themselves and not depend on the vendor of the software.