updated 07:45 am EDT, Thu March 29, 2007
Apple TV Mods Overridden
Apple may have a means of reversing hacks made to its own devices, according to reports. Multiple owners who have successfully used a security bypass in the past to install their own software on the media hub have suddenly found that the access to their systems was closed overnight, preventing anything but the official Apple TV front end from running properly.
"My startup script to disable the firewall got its permissions stripped," wrote one user.
Allegations have been made that Apple is remotely disabling third-party modifications through a back door in the device's code. Others, however, have noted that the stripped version of Mac OS X that manages the hub may have a specialized edition of the Mac's overnight maintenance process that automatically resets access permissions and closes potentially vulnerable connections, protecting the system from outside attacks.
No workarounds are known to exist for the system reset, though to date no hobbyists have disconnected the device from a local network to verify its behavior.
Apple in recent months has been closing down its embedded versions of Mac software, receiving the most criticism for closing off the iPhone edition of Mac OS X to outside development despite the tendency in smartphones towards third-party software packages.