If you're using a Magic Keyboard, you've opened up an attack vector

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 28
    Does anybody know what the Magic Keyboard uses to communicate when you have it plugged into the computer?

    I notice on my Mac that it greys out the Bluetooth Connection for the keyboard though it still has the icon coloured blue.

    Is it still using Bluetooth for communication or is it using the USB cable?
    If the Magic Keyboard is plugged in, it is communicating using USB. Handy when it looses Bluetooth connection. I have my Magic Keyboard and trackpad plugged in via kvm so I can also use them on my Linux desktop. 
    mpschaeferwatto_cobradarkvader
  • Reply 22 of 28
    Does anybody know what the Magic Keyboard uses to communicate when you have it plugged into the computer?

    I notice on my Mac that it greys out the Bluetooth Connection for the keyboard though it still has the icon coloured blue.

    Is it still using Bluetooth for communication or is it using the USB cable?
    If the Magic Keyboard is plugged in, it is communicating using USB. Handy when it looses Bluetooth connection. I have my Magic Keyboard and trackpad plugged in via kvm so I can also use them on my Linux desktop. 
    Thanks. I guess that would be one way to close the attack vector then.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 28
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 642member
    It's a real shame AI has resorted to sensationalistic headlines similar to the National Enquirer. It takes so many steps to make this happen that for the most part it is impossible to execute meaning there is no concern for all but a handful of people. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 28
    jimh2 said:
    It's a real shame AI has resorted to sensationalistic headlines similar to the National Enquirer. It takes so many steps to make this happen that for the most part it is impossible to execute meaning there is no concern for all but a handful of people. 
    “Bat Boy attacks Macs!”
    williamlondonAppleZuluwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 28
    chasm said:
    Yes, Bluetooth is flawed and should be fixed.

    BUT

    It’s worth pointing out that this alleged “attack” can only work if the attacker is within 30 feet of you — so at home this is probably a complete non-issue, and even in public you’d probably only be a real risk if you were attended a black-hat hacker convention, or a Starbucks in Silicon Valley.

    I concur with AppleZulu about the risk factor on this. Good to be aware of the vulnerability, very VERY low odds of it being a practical thread in the real world.
    Not necessarily.  One could conceive of a device such as a raspberry pi running off solar/battery that has both a Bluetooth and cellular radio that could be planted somewhere close to the house.  But regardless, this would be an attack that targets a specific person, not the general public, meaning, it wouldn’t be chance or happenstance. I’d think journalists, state officials, or other high value targets would have something to worry about.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 26 of 28
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,091member
    chasm said:
    Yes, Bluetooth is flawed and should be fixed.

    BUT

    It’s worth pointing out that this alleged “attack” can only work if the attacker is within 30 feet of you — so at home this is probably a complete non-issue, and even in public you’d probably only be a real risk if you were attended a black-hat hacker convention, or a Starbucks in Silicon Valley.

    I concur with AppleZulu about the risk factor on this. Good to be aware of the vulnerability, very VERY low odds of it being a practical thread in the real world.
    Not necessarily.  One could conceive of a device such as a raspberry pi running off solar/battery that has both a Bluetooth and cellular radio that could be planted somewhere close to the house.  But regardless, this would be an attack that targets a specific person, not the general public, meaning, it wouldn’t be chance or happenstance. I’d think journalists, state officials, or other high value targets would have something to worry about.
    You could conceive of that, but you’re still describing an elaborate scenario to implement a hit or mostly miss attack. So you’ve planted a rigged device to send the offending Bluetooth signal, but that still depends on either a) being able to see the victim’s screen while the victim is distracted and not looking at it, or as imagined elsewhere in this thread b) a completely blind attack using keystroke functions to invoke the terminal app, issue commands and close the terminal, all while the victim is either logged in but not looking at the target computer or has disabled the screen lock, left the computer on and is not anywhere near it. 

    It’s like saying you’ve got a key that might go to a room with a safe in it, but the room is in a secure, guarded compound and the safe is probably only unlocked when its owner is actively getting something out or putting something in. That key is nifty to have, but it’s far-fetched to think that it’s actually going to get you into the safe. 
    edited December 2023 williamlondon
  • Reply 27 of 28
    I am using Apple's keyboard and touch pad (both are connected via cable to my Studio Display) and Bluetooth is disabled on my Mac. What I really don't understand is, why both the keyboard and touch pad needs to be turned on to work even is Bluetooth is not used!
  • Reply 28 of 28
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,966member
    maltz said:
    I've never really understood the popularity of wireless mice and keyboards, but especially keyboards.  Mice, ok, the cord can be annoying if it tends to get hung up on something, but rearranging the cord or desk layout has always fixed that for me.  But keyboards are stationary.  What's the point of it being wireless?  And having to mess with charging and/or changing batteries is a hassle.

    That's not to say there aren't ANY use cases - I have a wireless keyboard/trackpad combo for my HTPC for when the IR remote doesn't suffice, for example.  And our conference room at work has wireless so the computer driving the large display there can be used by anyone at the table.  But the typical "sitting at your desk using your computer" case I don't really get.
    Personally I prefer wired keyboards and mice.
    This. The Bluetooth capability of my keyboard and mouse give me nothing with my desktop (except inconvenience) 

    if you can’t manage the cords from a mouse and keyboard then you’ve got bigger issues that BT won’t fix. 


    edited December 2023 williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingammaltz
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