Apple laptop batteries can be hacked

Apple laptop batteries can be hacked to infect the laptop with malware, or possibly even rigged to explode, a well-known security researcher has found.

All modern laptop batteries have logic chips inside them that communicate with the computer they’re powering. That’s how you’re able to see how much charge is remaining. The chips also carry out regulatory tasks, such as shutting down the charging process when a battery’s at risk of overcharging.

But any logic chip has operating software — “firmware” — and that software can usually be remotely updated.

Charlie Miller, who’s famous for winning the annual Pwn2Own contest four times with his Mac OS X and iOS exploits, discovered that Apple puts the same password on all its laptop batteries in order to efficiently send out battery firmware updates.




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