Remember the days we thought Mac products were impenetrable? Those days are no more. A new computer virus, Thunderstrike 2, has been created to crack into the core of Macbooks and destroy the hardware. Thunderstrike 2 works by targeting firmware, which provides, control, monitoring, and data manipulation and is what loads the device’s operating system.
The team working on Thunderstrike 2 is comprised of Xeno Kovah, owner of LegbaCore, and Trammell Hudson, a security engineer for Two Sigma Investments. They developed the virus to highlight vulnerability in Apple products.
Similar to other viruses, phishing emails contribute to the amount of attacks. Macs have been successfully hacked while disconnected from the Internet.
Kovah spoke to Wired about the virus and how “It’s really hard to protect against something that’s running inside the firmware… for most users that’s really a throw-your-machine-away kind of situation.” At the price Macbooks go for, any user would be discontent, to say the least, if their device was attacked. As Kovah explained, it’s not an easy virus to get rid of, meaning to remove Thunderstrike 2, the Macbook would require programming the computer’s chip.
Kovah and Hudson hope that Thunderstrike 2 will push companies to seriously consider their level of security. Kovah and Hudson will showcase the virus in Las Vegas at the Black Hat conference today.