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Apple overriding Apple TV mods?

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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. mitchcohen

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005


    I doubt it's a back door

    I'd be quite shocked if Apple used a back door to reset AppleTV systems, or even intentionally wrote code to disable user hacks.

    Most likely they realized the AppleTV had to be a never-fail box, so has more thorough cleanup code than typical OS X. This shouldn't be hard to work around, probably just some cron jobs that could be edited or disabled.

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005



    Apple TV is going to be HUGE. Apple OWNS! Gotta love this world!

  1. GORDYmac

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Dec 1999


    Read the Legal section

    It's about 50 pages long, but it does state in there that Apple will restore the software to protect their intellectual poperty.

    It made for a good read.

  1. doemel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006



    hey that's what we will have appletvlinux for: no more nasty surprises and easter eggs from Apple ;)

    It would make a nice little home server if you attach a bigger hard drive via USB. Just imagine the possibilities!

    I'm sure someone is already working on getting Linux to work on that thing. After all it employs pretty much stock hardware. Shouldn't be too hard.

  1. doemel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    oh, and

    i don't think it's a nasty back door thing (you could defeat that easily with a firewall). it's more likely something in the line of mitchcohen's explanation.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002



    the iPhone will be hacked also_ And 3rd party Apps will be abound_ Oh Happy day_

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    repeat after me...


    apparently one person read theirs.

    others donned tinfoil hats.

  1. Pale Rider

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000


    linux? please....

    WTF would I want to spend $299 on the aTV--which I already did and love--just to dump the software [one of the core reasons for Apple's success] and the beauty of the machine and replace it with something I have to manage to make a "nice little home server"? For that, I plugged my 750gb drive into my Airport Extreme. You want a nice little home server? Just buy a box. Buying the aTV just to strip it is cataclysmically stupid.

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