Flaws in Wi-Fi drivers allow remote code execution

— 3:16 PM on August 3, 2006

Hackers at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas have uncovered serious flaws in Wi-Fi drivers for both Windows and Apple machines that make them vulnerable to remote code execution. At the conference, the two hackers—Jon Ellch and David Maynor—were able to gain full control of a MacBook laptop running MacOS X.

Maynor and Ellch told the Washington Post that they picked the MacBook for the demonstration as a retort to Apple's new ads (Maynor: "if you watch those 'Get a Mac' commercials enough, it eventually makes you want to stab one of those users in the eye with a lit cigarette or something.") However, Windows machines are vulnerable too: the hackers say they uncovered "at least two similar flaws in device drivers for wireless cards either designed for or embedded in machines running the Windows OS." Few extra details have been let out, perhaps for fear of widespread exploitation of the flaw, but the hackers have nevertheless tipped off companies whose products are affected by the vulnerability.

In related news, Intel released a set of security patches for its wireless products last week, and one of them plugs a remote code execution hole in the company's PRO/Wireless 2200BG and 2915ABG wireless network cards. Maynor says he and Ellch aren't responsible for this release and that Intel's timing was coincidental.

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