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View Full Version : Apple TV Bites Back: Modder Lockdown




Facid
Mar 28, 2007, 06:30 PM
Hey everyone,

Apple TV has stealthy patch many modders apple itv's

http://tutorialninjas.net/2007/03/28/apple-vs-apple-tv-modrs/

http://digg.com/apple/AppleTV_bites_Back_Modder_Lockdown



epochblue
Mar 28, 2007, 06:41 PM
Hm. That's a bummer. So far, the hacks were the only reason I'd considered buying one.

Peace
Mar 28, 2007, 06:46 PM
Wa.Waa.Waa..

Don't buy it if you don't like it.Personally I love it.

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 06:57 PM
Hey everyone,

Apple TV has stealthy patch many modders apple itv's

http://tutorialninjas.net/2007/03/28/apple-vs-apple-tv-modrs/

http://digg.com/apple/AppleTV_bites_Back_Modder_Lockdown

Whether or not this is actually a "modder lockdown" by Apple or simply the result of files being overwritten by a "normal" system update by Apple has yet to be determined -- e.g., an update that replaced the modified ssh.plist with the default ver. is all that it would take to "disable" SSH on many modified :apple: tv boxes. :rolleyes:

FleurDuMal
Mar 28, 2007, 07:06 PM
All the modders have to do is find the back door through which Apple secretly updates the AppleTV, block it, and they'll be sorted. I can't see this being that much of a set back.

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 07:18 PM
All the modders have to do is find the back door through which Apple secretly updates the AppleTV, block it, and they'll be sorted. I can't see this being that much of a set back.

Who knows... it might be as simple as blocking port 80. :p

Or maybe not... ;)

trainguy77
Mar 28, 2007, 07:31 PM
Who knows... it might be as simple as blocking port 80. :p

Or maybe not... ;)

Well all you would need to do is get something like m0n0wall. OR something else that has fire-walling ability then just block all traffic between the apple TVs ip and the internet. Or get really fancy and get the update servers IPs and just block the apple tv from accessing those.:D

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 07:38 PM
Well all you would need to do is get something like m0n0wall. OR something else that has fire-walling ability then just block all traffic between the apple TVs ip and the internet. Or get really fancy and get the update servers IPs and just block the apple tv from accessing those.:D

~ man ipfw ;)

balamw
Mar 28, 2007, 07:40 PM
~ man ipfw ;)

Still safer to do it at your router in case they have some backdoor to reset ipfw, no?

B

csubear
Mar 28, 2007, 07:43 PM
Hey everyone,

Apple TV has stealthy patch many modders apple itv's

http://tutorialninjas.net/2007/03/28/apple-vs-apple-tv-modrs/

http://digg.com/apple/AppleTV_bites_Back_Modder_Lockdown


My guess: Total bull.

For any one to access the apple tv from anywhere outside of his house he must have either a) port fowarding to the apple tv or b) a non-nated connection (ie university) or c) the apple tv is actively communicating with some apple server.


Most likely it is b. And if this is true then any joe user on the internet can login and screw with his apple tv because he never changed the password.

If it is c) we would already be seeing some thing like "omg apple tv secretly communicates with apple server!!! elvelnty one!!1" along with a tcp dump of said communications.

In short the guy disabled the devices firewall, and attached it to the internet. Some one then logged in and bricked his apple tv. This could be any one, mostly likely some haxar 'friends' on irc. He got what he had coming. You never put a machine on any network with a disabled firewall AND a known ssh username and password.

spork183
Mar 28, 2007, 08:09 PM
of the scenario's posted so far, the most rational seems to be that the system updated and broke the mod. Now, I can definitely see Apple tweaking the update to not be compatible with mods. It is in Apple's interest to save those potential functionalities for later, when they can add them as features. But yeah, having an update screw up the mod is a bummer.

clevin
Mar 28, 2007, 08:15 PM
its interesting so many mac users are enthusiastic about hacking apple's products(probably void warranty too), rather than treat it as "just work" "out of box", lol

how about just face the reality about what type of the market apple is targeting? if you are not in the category, just don't buy it. Its not everybody should buy every product from apple anyway.;)

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 08:21 PM
Still safer to do it at your router in case they have some backdoor to reset ipfw, no?

B

Yeah, a router with configurable firewall is the thing to have. ipfw is just the quick and effective way to boink the unwanted things coming in or going out on device itself.

Backdoor? Dunno... Likely it was just a variation on Apple's current updating methods; one that (rudely) didn't prompt before installation. Updates to any system or app software typically break any mods added or made to it.

michaelsaxon
Mar 28, 2007, 08:35 PM
Perhaps it was my imagination, but it seemed that the tv show menu was different, prompting me to think that the system had updated on its own.

I'm not certain of this, but I don't remember the "episode and date" thing at the top of the menu before.

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 08:48 PM
Perhaps it was my imagination, but it seemed that the tv show menu was different, prompting me to think that the system had updated on its own.

I'm not certain of this, but I don't remember the "episode and date" thing at the top of the menu before.

"Updates on its own" is the major plot point... but should have been assumed.

daveL
Mar 28, 2007, 08:50 PM
This sounds like the same scenario as the TIVO mods. Everything was fine, then you sit down to watch something and it's all gone! During the night TIVO updated your box. You are back to square one and have to apply the mods all over again. It's not that they are blocking you from making the mods, they're just making it such of a pain by having to redo the mods after every update. Goes with the territory.

Just my take on it. I don't have one, yet.

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 09:13 PM
This sounds like the same scenario as the TIVO mods. Everything was fine, then you sit down to watch something and it's all gone! During the night TIVO updated your box. You are back to square one and have to apply the mods all over again. It's not that they are blocking you from making the mods, they're just making it such of a pain by having to redo the mods after every update. Goes with the territory.

Just my take on it. I don't have one, yet.

It's just Darwinism in motion. Thinning the herd... killing off the weak. The strong survive. :p

aristobrat
Mar 28, 2007, 10:11 PM
This sounds like the same scenario as the TIVO mods. Everything was fine, then you sit down to watch something and it's all gone! During the night TIVO updated your box. You are back to square one and have to apply the mods all over again. It's not that they are blocking you from making the mods, they're just making it such of a pain by having to redo the mods after every update. Goes with the territory.

Just my take on it. I don't have one, yet.
I totally agree with you.

Maybe the hackers can figure out a way to make the AppleTV ignore the updates, like the TiVo hackers did.

Problem is, two years after you get everything set up and running right, along comes something major like the Daylight Savings Time update, and then you have to quickly remember how to manually do an update and redo your patches. :eek:

Either way, I think the AppleTV's way to early in its life to be ignoring updates.

I wonder if Apple left it so easily hackable so they could read the blogs and plug a gazillion security things at once?

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 10:40 PM
Hmmm... haven't seen anyone posting anything here about how their mods were hosed.

Anyone? :rolleyes:

spork183
Mar 28, 2007, 10:44 PM
Hmmm... haven't seen anyone posting anything here about how their mods were hosed.

Anyone? :rolleyes:

Is it that not enough people are modding them? or not enough modders had problems?

If you've successfully voided the warranty on your Apple TV, only to have Apple successfully thwart your modifications (even for the short term), please, do share...

aristobrat
Mar 28, 2007, 10:46 PM
I just went to Settings > Update and tried to force an update and it didn't find anything.

Then I rebooted, thinking it might do an auto-update then. Nothing. I can still SSH in. I wonder if they roll out their updates based on something unique (mac addr?), like DirecTV does with their DVR updates. I can't imagine Apple has the balls to update (read: potentially brick) every single AppleTV at one time. :confused:

jsw
Mar 28, 2007, 10:52 PM
I'm not certain of this, but I don't remember the "episode and date" thing at the top of the menu before.
It's been there all along.

spork183
Mar 28, 2007, 10:54 PM
I can't imagine Apple has the balls to update (read: potentially brick) every single AppleTV at one time. :confused:

Never, Never underestimate the size of Steve Job's balls. Apple TV has to be easier than updating a puter, and they send out updates that the faithful install constantly. When was the last time an update drastically broke everyone's computer, when it wasn't tied to some 3rd party installed thing? Since you can't do any "3rd party installed" thing on the ATV, I'd guess, yea, Stevo would dangle 'em out there.:eek:

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 10:54 PM
Is it that not enough people are modding them? or not enough modders had problems?

If you've successfully voided the warranty on your Apple TV, only to have Apple successfully thwart your modifications (even for the short term), please, do share...

Relax... Creative people will continue to create their own entertainment. The uncreative types will be content for someone to create it for them.

BTW, if not for the hacking efforts of two early hackers, Jobs and Wozniak, you wouldn't have a Mac to type on right now. :rolleyes:

spork183
Mar 28, 2007, 10:58 PM
Relax... Creative people will continue to create their own entertainment. The uncreative types will be content for someone to create it for them.

BTW, if not for the hacking efforts of two early hackers, Jobs and Wozniak, you wouldn't have a Mac to type on right now. :rolleyes:

Deep cleansing breath to eliminate my obvious hysteria, the frantic tone of my post must have given me away... :confused:

I'm all for hackers. I just want to know if this is a widespread thing, or just people whose mods didn't work out. It seems pretty anecdotal at the moment. Be nice to hear from someone with an actual problem.

trainguy77
Mar 28, 2007, 11:02 PM
~ man ipfw ;)

That is still on the box itself....you never know what apple has done:D

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 11:10 PM
... It seems pretty anecdotal at the moment. Be nice to hear from someone with an actual problem.

I'd think by now there'd be dozens of "me needz HELP!" posts here in this section of MR by now, if this were really widespread... :p

localoid
Mar 28, 2007, 11:14 PM
That is still on the box itself....you never know what apple has done:D

Yeah. Maybe the reason why you can't buy iSight cameras now is really because Apple secretly installed them on all the Apple TVs and Big Brother Apple is watching right now! :eek:

:rolleyes: :p

Passante
Mar 29, 2007, 05:26 AM
Perhaps it was my imagination, but it seemed that the tv show menu was different, prompting me to think that the system had updated on its own.

I'm not certain of this, but I don't remember the "episode and date" thing at the top of the menu before.

Its always been there

Osarkon
Mar 29, 2007, 05:50 AM
I'd think by now there'd be dozens of "me needz HELP!" posts here in this section of MR by now, if this were really widespread... :p

Give it time, it's early days. Or hours. ;)

localoid
Mar 29, 2007, 07:07 AM
Give it time, it's early days. Or hours. ;)

Relax. If your Apple TV suddenly starts running amok, wildly shoot its deadly laser beams around the room and trying to destroy the earth, just firmly tell it "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!", and everything will be ok... :rolleyes:

localoid
Mar 29, 2007, 07:18 AM
I just went to Settings > Update and tried to force an update and it didn't find anything.

Then I rebooted, thinking it might do an auto-update then. Nothing. I can still SSH in. I wonder if they roll out their updates based on something unique (mac addr?), like DirecTV does with their DVR updates. I can't imagine Apple has the balls to update (read: potentially brick) every single AppleTV at one time. :confused:

This whole "report" sounds like it could be one of those the old dog ate my homework kind of stories... :p

mkrishnan
Mar 29, 2007, 07:46 AM
Relax. If your Apple TV suddenly starts running amok

OMG11111!!!!1111 My Appel tV sterted dun wat its supposed to. OMG1111!!!!! Call teh RIAA!!!!!!11111 :D

localoid
Mar 29, 2007, 11:44 AM
After finding out what at least one person did during their "modding" procedure, I see what probably has happened...

PPL: Every Mac OS X computer makes an effort avoid possible security problems (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300962) that might occur with "startup items"... and Apple TV likely does it's "cleanup job" without prompting.

So... if we want to install something in /Library/StartupItems/ ourselves, something to turn a firewall off for example, we'll want to make sure and use the "correct security settings" for that startup item.

On a "regular" Mac OS X: Directories and executable files (in /StartupItems) should have permissions of "0755," with the owner set to "root" and group set to "wheel." Other (non-executable) files should have permissions of "0644," with the owner set to "root" and group set to "wheel."

On Apple TV: It's likely the same. Someone clue us in if they know otherwise. (But will someone tell me why exactly you'd need to shutdown the firewall when the default is said to have no rules anyway?)

Otherwise, if permissions aren't set correctly -- there's going to be a hella-lot of chmod 000'ing going on during startup or quite possible when cron runs, etc.

Billy Boo Bob
Mar 29, 2007, 06:02 PM
I'm sure this is just a side effect of normal operations... I really doubt that Apple is getting into people's :apple:TVs and fighting back at mods like these… As mentioned, it's probably just some cron job checking to see if somebody managed to break into your machine to brick it. If the various system folders and files don't reflect what they should (file sizes, mod dates, etc), then run the repair script. Remember, in normal operations there should be no changes to any of these without SW Update doing it.

Unfortunately, these same cron jobs can't tell the difference between a wanted hack, and an attack hack.

There's always the chance that Software Update comes into play here, too... It uses port 80 (to make requests for updates, not listen for update notifications) and most external firewalls allow port 80 to send requests out (and allow replies to come in)... Otherwise nobody else on the network would be able to use a web browser.

Jeez I wish I had one of these things to play along with the modding. But, I suffer from LOCS (Lack Of Cash Syndrome), so I can't even get one at the moment (let alone get an HDTV to watch it on (properly)).:(

localoid
Mar 29, 2007, 06:46 PM
I'm sure this is just a side effect of normal operations... (

The reset-to-default is a "side effect" alright... a chmod 000 side effect caused from lack of knowledge regarding the *nix permissions required for files and dirs in OS X in the /StartupItems dir. :rolleyes:

man chmod
man chown
man chgrp

snowmoon
Mar 29, 2007, 07:26 PM
Never, Never underestimate the size of Steve Job's balls.

Ain't that the truth!

I doubt there is any maliciousness in the latest "hiccup" in modding the ATV. Just regular maintenance on this "appliance".