Did you know that the batteries in your Macbook can be hacked? You didn’t? Well now you do. Laptop batteries have evolved from being just batteries to a system that incorporates a microprocessor with a firmware to control it. This firmware performs various functions such as charging and discharging the battery, providing information on battery condition and charge rates, and telling the computer how much juice is left.
Apple has, in the past, released hotfixes for malfunctioning batteries, and by analyzing these hotfixes, security researcher Charlie Miller has gained direct access to the embedded firmware. He has found some flaws in Apple’s firmware which allow malicious code to be embedded. So what can this malicious coded do? Well for starters it can brick your battery, which means that it will neither charge nor discharge itself. It could provide false information about the battery to the computer. This code can also execute software on your MacBook and no amount of anti-virus software and system formats can get rid of it, because its not on the system.
The good news is that no amount of malicious code can make your battery overheat and explode. The bad news is that patching these vulnerabilities means that Apple will no longer be able to provide hotfixes for its batteries.