updated 09:50 am EDT, Fri March 30, 2007
Apple TV USB Port Hacked
Hobbyists have successfully reverse-engineered the Apple TV's USB port. Although the port is officially reserved for diagnostics and service, those curious about the device have documented steps that change the media hub's Mac OS X code to allow more than just the handful of approved USB devices. Devices such as keyboards and mice are already known to work, the testers have written. The technique has already been demonstrated running third-party media center interfaces (pictured) and could be used to run general programs. (More details and video in the full story)
The discovery marks the latest in a series of compromises to the Apple TV's security, which began first by using a Unix-based security workaround to install XviD and later to run the customized OS outside Apple TV. No programmer has yet managed to run a full version of Mac OS X on the entertainment device. An example of the current progress made in altering the device's functions is available below.