Feeds

Apple disappoints at first Black Hat briefing

Rehashes old info and scarpers before question time

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Black Hat 2012 Apple's first Black Hat presentation was one of the most highly anticipated talks at this year's infosec gathering in Las Vegas, but many delegates were left feeling more than a little short-changed.

The conference space for the presentation began filling up early, before the day's keynote with Neal Stephenson had even finished, and it was standing room only by the time Dallas De Atley, manager of the platform security team at Apple, took to the stage.

But all delegates got was a rehash of the iOS security paper Apple released in May, with almost no new information. To add insult to injury De Atley ignored the customary Q&A session and scuttled straight out of the hall once he'd finished his speech.

"This was one of the worst talks I have ever seen at Black Hat. Nothing new, no information and no questions. It was a vendor pitch. Too bad for all the other talks that got rejected because of this," said attendee Moritz Jaeger on the Black Hat Facebook page.

As for the guts of the presentation, De Atley explained how Apple has combined hardware and software to reduce the risk of a successful hack. Each A5 processor has a unique identifier that is fused into the chip which cannot be changed and this is used to authenticate the device with software.

In order to minimize the attack profile Apple has stripped out all unnecessary software from iOS, De Atley said, with all unnecessary tools removed and no remote login support or shell. This was augmented by physically separating the operating system from user data while all third-party applications are loaded into a sandboxed container and can't directly access the operating system.

All third-party applications have must also be approved by Apple, and are monitored both in terms of their installation and also their runtime to avoid any funny business on behalf of the developers.

Apple had plumped for a hardware encryption engine with iOS to save on battery life and processor load he said, and the result was a full AES and SHA supported system that ensured the safety of user's data. The company had designed iOS from the ground up to be secure he said.

"Security is architecture," he said. "You have to build it in from the very beginning. It's not something you can sprinkle over the code at the end." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.