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View Full Version : Power Nap on all Macs with SSD's Possible?




PhixionFilms
Jul 28, 2012, 12:26 PM
Would it be possible for someone to come out with a crack of some sort to enable Powernap on Macbooks with SSD drives? Or is it some hardware feature left out of the last gen Macbooks?



dbyway
Jul 28, 2012, 12:29 PM
I don't see why anyone would want to..

Tander
Jul 28, 2012, 12:33 PM
I don't see why anyone would want to..

Well I for one would definitely use it!

To be able to update the MacBook and have it in sleep mode = WIN! :D

To answer to OP's question - No, I doubt it. I think there is more to it than just an SSD.

throAU
Jul 28, 2012, 12:46 PM
I suspect it relies on a firmware update, so unless

- apple releases powernap compatible firmware OR
- someone writes their own powernap capable firmware


I doubt it.

specik
Jul 28, 2012, 12:48 PM
This is definitely not going to happy via third-party "cracking" means. Power Nap relies on a SMC firmware update that Apple has issued only to 2011 and newer MacBook Airs and the Retina MacBook Pro.

I don't think it's even possible for someone to write a third-party SMC firmware update, but if it was, would you really trust some third party app modifying the SMC firmware? If something went wrong or wasn't programmed properly you would literally end up with a bricked machine.

Tander
Jul 28, 2012, 12:50 PM
I don't think it's even possible for someone to write a third-party SMC firmware update, but if it was, would you really trust some third party app modifying the SMC firmware? If something went wrong or wasn't programmed properly you would literally end up with a bricked machine.

Very good point. I definitely wouldn't trust it.

throAU
Jul 28, 2012, 12:52 PM
Oh it's certainly POSSIBLE. (there's an openBIOS project for PCs to have an open-source BIOS, for example).

But the difficulty level is quite a bit higher than say, enabling TRIM on a non-apple SSD, or loading previous OS version kernel modules.

And yes, the trust issues of running hacked SMC firmware are certainly a bit of a worry. If someone owns your SMC firmware, they have complete and total control over the machine and there is nothing your AV software or anything else can do about it.

If i wanted to infect a huge proportion of the mac population with malware that was extremely difficult to detect/remove, a hacked firmware to enable some new feature would be the ideal infection vector. Enable the shiny new feature, lay dormant for 6 months (long enough to gain trust, and a user base), and then wreak havoc.

specik
Jul 28, 2012, 01:25 PM
Oh it's certainly POSSIBLE. (there's an openBIOS project for PCs to have an open-source BIOS, for example).

But the difficulty level is quite a bit higher than say, enabling TRIM on a non-apple SSD, or loading previous OS version kernel modules.

And yes, the trust issues of running hacked SMC firmware are certainly a bit of a worry. If someone owns your SMC firmware, they have complete and total control over the machine and there is nothing your AV software or anything else can do about it.

If i wanted to infect a huge proportion of the mac population with malware that was extremely difficult to detect/remove, a hacked firmware to enable some new feature would be the ideal infection vector. Enable the shiny new feature, lay dormant for 6 months (long enough to gain trust, and a user base), and then wreak havoc.

I know it's possible on a PC. But this is a Mac we're talking about. Patching a BIOS on a PC is different than patching the SMC on a Mac.

throAU
Jul 28, 2012, 01:52 PM
I know it's possible on a PC. But this is a Mac we're talking about. Patching a BIOS on a PC is different than patching the SMC on a Mac.

It really isn't that different - the update is downloaded and applied. On the PC the code isn't generally even signed, but on the mac whether it is or not it is still possible.

Anything is possible - apple created the machine so with enough effort someone can reverse-engineer/hack it given enough time, resources and motivation.

Whether it involves hardware hacking (removing the flash/eeprom and inserting your own) or whatever is another question.

I mean, the PS3 has custom firmware available and that is far more locked down than the mac.

Its just a case of effort/$ vs whether or not someone is bothered enough to pursue it. My bet is that it won't happen.


However, many people think firmware is something special. It's not. The possibility is out there for people to write viruses infecting the firmware in your video bios, your EFI, etc.

So long as they can flash the firmware (and even with code signing, a stolen code-signing or brute force key collision cert can make this easy enough), it is possible. If people think the flame and stuxnet malware were impressive, well, they're just the tip of the icerberg in terms of what would be possible given enough time and motivation.

the1akshay
Sep 15, 2012, 05:06 AM
I'd love that.

I have a 2010 MacBook (white), with which I've taken out the disc drive and replaced it with an SSD.

ideaman924
Feb 4, 2014, 02:21 AM
a possible workaround would be to disable the sleep and not let the mac hibernate, but there would be two problems.

1. There would be too much battery usage.

2. and anyway, why do we want power nap? for the auto update anon emails, apps and stuff, thats why

for those of you who's interested in my workaround, try
nosleep
in google-code.