Vicious orchestrated assault on MacBook wireless researchers

Vicious orchestrated assault on MacBook wireless researchers

Summary: So what exactly are Maynor and SecureWorks accused of falsifying? They are accused of "admitting" that the wireless hack was an exploit of a third party device and a third party driver. The only problem with this accusation is that it isn't exactly news since this is precisely what Maynor and company have been saying all along. This was not only evident in my video interview, but it was even in Maynor's original video demonstration along with every other news report earlier this month during Black Hat.

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TOPICS: Apple
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There has been a vicious orchestrated assault on researcher David Maynor and the company SecureWorks claiming that the Maynor and SecureWorks falsified their research presented at Black Hat 2006.  In a video demonstration, Maynor completely took over an Apple MacBook using a vulnerability in a third party wireless driver.  MacWorld's Jim Dalrymple was the first to regurgitate this bogus story on Thursday and followed up with "MacBook Wi-Fi hack exposed" by calling the original research a "misrepresentation".  David Chartier of "The Unofficial Apple Weblog" went as far as saying "SecureWorks admits to falsifying MacBook wireless hack".  Plenty of other media outlets were fed the same story but most of them knew better and refused to run this bogus story.  But once Digg and Slashdot ran with this story on Friday, all hell broke loose and the story has infected the blogsphere.

I was absolutely shocked when I ran across these stories on Digg.  I had personally video interviewed Maynor and his partner Jon "Johnny Cache" Ellch and these two gentlemen were very honest and straightforward.  But as soon as I read the stories, the stench began to rise.  Maynor and SecureWorks had been telling the truth the entire time and they had falsified nothing.  The only falsification going on was the stories themselves!  Not only did Dalrymple and Chartier and others like them not follow the most basic of journalism principles to at least check with the source, they apparently didn't even bother looking at the original video of David Manor released by SecureWorks.

So what exactly are Maynor and SecureWorks accused of falsifying?  They are accused of "admitting" that the wireless hack was an exploit of a third party device and a third party driver.  The only problem with this accusation is that it isn't exactly news since this is precisely what Maynor and company have been saying all along.  This was not only evident in my video interview, but it was even in Maynor's original video demonstration along with every other news report earlier this month during Black Hat.  In the first 20 seconds of the original video, Maynor bluntly states:

David Maynor: "Don't think however just because we're attacking an Apple, the flaw itself is in an Apple. We're actually using a third party wireless card".

Here's a transcript of my video interview asking about third party hardware and drivers.

George Ou: "Why would they be at fault... it would seem to me that the people that wrote the code have nothing to do with Apple"
David Maynor: "Right"
George Ou: "This is not an exploit on the AirPort card from Apple?"
David Maynor: "No"

So Maynor and SecureWorks have been telling the truth about this being a third party driver and hardware from the very beginning and they never misrepresented anything.  If anything, Maynor went out of his way to avoid implicating any issues on the part of Apple because Brian Krebs of The Washington Post reported that Apple had leaned on Maynor and SecureWorks not to disclose the fact that the default Mac wireless hardware and default drivers were in fact vulnerable as well.  When I asked Maynor about this at Black Hat, Maynor would not confirm or deny whether Apple had leaned on him or not saying that he didn't want to discuss it at the moment.  Brian Krebs who himself had been flamed by Mac enthusiasts defended himself by releasing a word-for-word transcript of an audio tape interview he had with David Maynor in his hotel room.  The transcript clearly reveals that Maynor had demonstrated the same exploit on a Mac without any third party wireless hardware!  It also turns out Maynor chose an external third party hardware wireless adapter to avoid focusing attention on possible Apple hardware and software issues which may endanger Mac users.

I'm going to f***ing kill you and your dog!

When I contacted David Maynor by email and later phoned him late Saturday night, Maynor was very disturbed by the whole incident.  He had already been receiving hate mail and even death threats at the Black Hat convention but the threats had escalated with this latest fabricated story about him falsifying his research.  In one such threat, the person stated "I'm going to f***ing kill you and your dog" to which Maynor replied "I don't have a dog".  Maynor was even more disgusted with the despicable way this story was set up and then planted in the press though I've been asked not to reveal any more details at this time.  What I can tell you is that Maynor and SecureWorks will not be taking this laying down and the fireworks will start in the next couple of days.  [Update 3/21/2007 - Apple set this whole thing up]

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    Topic: Apple

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    • Maybe ...

      ... Apple should include with each Mac the cost of a visit to a psychiatrist?

      And if that will happen ? please, make sure that Steve Jobs will be the first on the list of the visitors.
      Vily Clay
      • You first.....:)

        Oddly enough I now own a MacBook and running Parallels on it.
        Like it I must say.

        Still I missed your comments on the recent posting where Apple
        had like the highest customer satisfaction rating in a recent poll
        like 83% or something.

        Pagan jim
        Laff
        • Are fanatics able to see the truth about their ?Gods? and ?God?s? goodies?

          All Apple?s success I checked started since 1997 is based on lies, cheating, misleading, false advertisement and the like, but not quality products.

          In my opinion ? nobody lies in the industry more than Steve Jobs.

          I have enough reasons to say that Mac cult is a religion created by spreading psychic epidemic by paranoiac Steve Jobs.

          This is not a secret that [b]some people are more sensitive[/b] to hypnosis and hypnosis-like techniques ? that?s, in my opinion, the main reason of why people buy Mac.

          Can fanatics be agreed with truthful facts against their religion? Never ? they always act as they should.
          Vily Clay
          • Welll I have to admit that does explain some things..

            Like your fantic unreasoned hatred of Steve Jobs and Apple.

            Still as for I....I was around when personal computers existed
            before IBM got into the game way back in the Digital Rainbow,
            Atari, Adam, and any number of computers like the TRS-80 and
            such. Man the choices back thever were wild and it seemed
            every other week something new came around. Now over time I
            settled on Apple after given a great many systems a try. I still
            work with Windows on occasion even running Windows on my
            Parallels virtual machine on my MacBook now. I will admit I have
            yet to give Linux a spin but I have too say that my reasons for
            Apple were simple....at the time it was the best for what I
            needed and despite some decisions and actions that I have not
            always agreed with over all Apple has not been a disapontment.
            Stil that is overall not never get the difference there Vily.

            You are a Fanatic Vily and a rather bitter stange odd one at that.
            Not that we fanatics are normal as a group but even for we odd
            folk you are strange.

            Pagan jim
            Laff
            • Wow Laff, thanks to Jobs you don?t even have brains to think on your own ..

              ... and like a parrot repeat what I said.

              Thanks for the proof that Mac fanatics like you need to visit a psychiatrist and to get a treatment.

              Plus Laff, you lost your memory ? you forgot all the links that you read about that Mac vs. PC was junk.

              I will repeat it again:

              Can fanatics be agreed with truthful facts against their religion? Never ? they always act as they should.

              I have enough facts to to prove my points - you Laff, as a fanatic, have nothing to prove yours.

              It means that you, Laff, are a ... (please choose who you, Laff, want to be - a moron or stupid boy).
              Vily Clay
            • Thats the extent of my choices? Man!!!

              Well I've explained that I have many years and have had the
              luxury of trying a great variety of systems over the years and
              found that Apple met my needs. If that is not enough for
              you.....well so be it. Still personal experience and personal
              choice can not be argued against as you well know....I think that
              is why you fall back to childish insults.

              Apple lied? Oh my......that make Apple Computers very much
              like every other business I've ever known!!!! Shocking...
              sheeeeezzzzz. Grow up Vily.

              Besides much of your claims are the ranting of a fanatic and fail
              the reality check test.

              Pagan jim
              Laff
            • You Laff, as always, have only one choice ? the Jobs? one.

              How do you call [b]Jobs? trick[/b] that made a G3 Mac to look like it was TWICE faster than a Pentium II PC (Do you remember Apple?s advertisement where G3 was twice faster than Pentium II)?

              Actually a G3 Mac was about twice SLOWER than a Pentium II PC (in my tests a brand-new G3 Mac was twice more SLOWER than a properly configured Pentium II PC with the same MHz rate and RAM). Need links or you know how to use Internet search on your own?

              Plus, typically, Mac OS 8.6 with apps (but without Disk Warrior and ConflictCatcher) had runtime between 10 - 30 minutes and then it crashes. I do not state that Windows 95 had never crashed, but its performance was miles ahead of Mac OS 8.6.

              [b]Laff wrote[/b]: ?[i] ... I've explained that I have many years and have had the luxury of trying a great variety of systems over the years and
              found that Apple met my needs[/i].?

              Now, Laff, how do you call guys who are pathological liars like you are?

              Or you want to say that you NEED overpriced garbage? If so ? you are a mentally sick Mac fanatic.

              [b]P.S.[/b] Please, do not forget, Laff, to answer my questions.
              Vily Clay
            • You are a sick little puppy arent you...:)

              So Iam to beleive you botught a G3 to test it against a Pentium
              II? Wow that is dedication but since i did not witness your tests
              nor do I remember the specifics of the Apple claims I can not
              answer this question.

              Some of the other questions were a bit insulting and there for
              not worthy of a reply.

              Let's just say that I do not find Apple products over priced not
              junk in nature. They operate well and do what I ask of them so
              that's cool by me.

              Pagan jim
              Laff
            • Try this article ...it's a well written and thought out response.

              Something you might consider in thefuture....

              http://lowendmac.com/mac2win/06/0821.html

              Pagan jim
              Laff
            • You Laff, proved that you like a zombie can?t see truth.

              [b]My question was[/b]: ?[i]How do you call Jobs? trick that made a G3 Mac to look like it was TWICE faster than a Pentium II PC (Do you remember Apple?s advertisement where G3 was twice faster than Pentium II)[/i]??

              [b]Laff?s answer from his link[/b]: ?[i]They reported factually about tests comparing Macs and Windows systems, but they only reported the facts that they wanted us to hear[/i].?

              [u]It means Apple always cheats the public[/u].



              [b]I wrote[/b]: ?[i]Actually a G3 Mac was about twice SLOWER than a Pentium II PC (in my tests a brand-new G3 Mac was twice more SLOWER than a properly configured Pentium II PC with the same MHz rate and RAM). Need links or you know how to use Internet search on your own[/i]?

              No links.

              Laff, may I test your intelligence again? Can you find who wrote it?
              ?[/i]Mac users will be disappointed to see that this new Dell machine, while priced $629 less than the Mac Dual G4 1.25 GHz machine, was nearly twice as fast on most of the nine benchmarks we ran[/i].?



              Laff, you are a living proof that Mac cult is a religion created by spreading psychic epidemic by paranoiac Steve Jobs.

              This is not a secret that some people are more sensitive to hypnosis and hypnosis-like techniques and you Laff, is one of them.

              Laff = a fanatic.

              Can fanatics be agreed with truthful facts against their religion? Never ? they always act as they should.
              Vily Clay
            • You do realize that no one cares right?

              In the time I've grown to know you Apple's market share,
              customer satisfaction ratings and stock price have grown all the
              while you rant and rave about typical industry standard use of
              statistics and test results to show favor for the product they are
              trying to sell. (Huge emotional surprise there Vily) You should
              see the shock on my face as I realize this.....A buisness might in
              adds designed to SELL it's products might show only the good
              news in a given set of tests. SHOCKING!!!!

              Pagan jim
              Laff
            • Basically what Apple does if it would be a car-manufacturer:

              It advertises that it has motors that are twice FASTER that a BMW has.

              But Apple?s cars with those motors runs twice SLOWER that the BMW and not like a BMW, but a Dodge Neon.

              The price of Apple?s cars is higher than BMW because Apple makes it ONLY [b]look like[/b] a better than a BMW car.

              Is Apple?s fans want to be cheated ? they will ALWAYS get what they want and not only with Appple.

              [b]Thus[/b] ? Apple met needs of fanatics, mentally sick and the like. That's what is this topic about.
              Vily Clay
            • Are you saying I over paid when I spent $50,000.00

              for a shiney Dodge Neon with the Apple Logo? Man....I had an
              inkling about that purchase by I was not sure...thanks!

              Pagan jim
              Laff
            • As you see Laff, there are no reasons to worry ? you are not alone.

              Why?

              Because you, Laff, are among 1/4 of all Americans who met the criteria for having a mental illness.
              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/06/AR2005060601651.html

              Laff, did you say thanks to Steve Jobs for this achivement?

              Laff, please do not shy to share your experience - how good is to live with no involvement of your own brains, but Jobs' one.

              And please tell people details how a junk car with Apple logo can be better than a brand new BMW.
              Vily Clay
          • Typical...

            Build your 'Fanatic, granola-munching, luddite, Mac-user' straw man, then beat it up.

            What's next? 'Yes or no: Have you stopped beating your wife?'
            tangent001
            • You tangent001, lost common sense-find it & pick it up, then come back (NT)

              (NT)
              Vily Clay
        • Who might have beat them?

          With a dedicated customer base, and the fact that Apple does make a pretty good computer, although over priced, who could have had a higher customer satisfaction rateing? Dell? I doubt it. HP? I also doubt it.

          The only thing the least bit surprising given the over the top tirades many Apple users around here give, claiming Apple invincibility and near perfection, is that the customer satisfaction rateing wasnt closer to 100%. It goes to show you, I guess Apples are not 'quite' perfect yet.
          Cayble
          • Actiually in the past there has been times where companies

            like Dell beat Apple but in truth Apple has always been at or near
            the top.

            Nobody with any ability too reason ever thought Apple was/is
            perfect heck I support and repair em and to do that for a living they
            have to break in the first place.

            Pagan jim
            Laff
      • If this is true ,,,

        why bother getting worked up about it . Just don't use the wireless port . I'm pretty sure Apple will be working on this to resolve the issue . As for me I have a PowerMac running many Os's , as for the wireless bit , I never use it , not even my wireless enabled router get's used .

        "In a world without walls and fences , who needs windows and gates.'
        Intellihence
        • It?s sad when people love a tyrant-like pathological liars ? la Jobs. (NT)

          (NT)
          Vily Clay