Security Vulnerability Found In Apple M Chip Allows Hackers To Steal Encryption Keys

Many still think that Apple's computers are safe and hack-proof because not much news is seen about the platform's security vulnerability issues. The reality is that computers will have different security issues depending on how diligent a hacker is to find these weaknesses.

Recently it has been reported that a serious security vulnerability issue has been discovered in Mac computers, specifically those using Apple's M1 and M2 processing chips. Interestingly, this vulnerability is not a common security issue, as it can only be replicated in certain ways using side channel attack techniques.

In short, when a Mac computer performs tasks related to cryptography, this side channel attack can steal confidential data such as WiFi network passwords, device pin numbers, bank accounts and so on that are encrypted in the device.

This vulnerability became more serious when the researchers who discovered this issue said that hacking attacks using this technique can be done through user accounts that do not have administrator access.

A perhaps more understandable explanation is that when both the hacking application and the user performing these cryptographic activities operate in the same processing cluster at once, the hacking software can bypass the decryption requirement to obtain previously encrypted details.

The biggest issue with this vulnerability is that improvements can only be made to the cryptographic software used and not to the SoC (processing chip) directly, and this will cause an issue where the performance of the processing chip will degrade severely.

But as said before, this hack can only be "exploited" when the computer is performing a cryptographic-related task, and apart from that, the hacking software also needs to be installed first on the user's device for this attack to really bring any results.

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