Apple Batteries can be Hacked to Brick your Computer

Your Apple computer might be very safe, in fact they are so “safe” that many people prefer them over windows. But there is a small problem… While your OS might be smart enough to not get infected, your battery is a different story.

You might be feeling very cool with your new Macbook and it’s integrated battery, but a security researcher found out that Apple batteries are very vulnerable to hacking. The researcher found that a computer hacker can easily infect your computer with malicious code that not even re-installing the OS can fix.

The problem lies inside the batteries firmware, now days, the batteries are equipped with a type of firmware that constantly communicates between the battery and the computer. This constant connection allows the computer to do things like displaying how much juice you have left on the battery, temperature, and it allows for charge control and charge rates etc.

In the past, apple had problems with malfunctioning batteries, and they released “hotfixes” to install into the computer to fix your battery. Charlier Miller, the security researcher, began to analyze the the hotfixes, and found a way to gain direct access to the battery firmware. Once inside, Miller had the ability to brick the battery, install malware, and even display wrong charge amounts on the computer monitor. What’s worse is that not even anti viruses can detect the corrupted firmware. And since your new Macbook has an integrated battery, is not like you can go out to buy a brand new one.

Threat Post, via Slashdot