Thanks to the good people at Ars Technica, we now know that some Apple engineers are big fans of the Harry Potter series. The site reported on presentation given by an engineer named Alex Ionescu at the NoSuchCon security conference in which it was revealed that access to undocumented code from any Mac's system management controller (SMC) can be gained by typing in "SpecialisRevelio." Those familiar with J.K. Rowling's books know that those are the same words used by wizards to unveil hidden charms and hexes.
A Mac's SMC (Image 2) is a chip used to control the computer's voltage and light sensor. Every Mac has one. That said, Ionescu said there's no reason to panic as a hacker would need to have physical access to your computer in order to carry out an attack. In an email to Ars Technica, he said:
"The attacks discussed in my presentation are attacks that likely only a nation-state adversary would have the sufficient technical knowledge to implement, and they require precise knowledge of the machine that is being targeted."
If you're curious as to just what can be done with that sort of access, head over to Ars Technica.
[via Ars Technica]