Apple T2 chip- an appealing target for motivated attackers

 Have you heard about apple T2 chips? Well I assure you to give useful information through this article. Apple T2 chip is a SOC from apple, released in the iMac Pro 2017 with 64-bit ARM V8 chip runs on a bridge 0S 2.0 which is a separate operating system(watch OS derivative) with added security to your personal data.T2 chip is built inside the motherboard.

What’s been more interesting aspect of Apple T2 chip?

Apple T2 chip provides secure boot with encrypted keys, handles the system functionality like SSD controller, Touch ID on fly encryption and decryption for the device. T2 chip also delivers enhanced image processing feature for iMac Pro’s Face HD camera.T2 chip also enables “Hey Siri” feature which is released on November 7, 2018 IN Mac Book Air.

The T2 chip brings new capabilities to secure the data by redirecting and redesigning several system controllers like System Management Controller, Image signal processing, audio and SSD controllers. Therefore T2 works as a co-processor and marks a place between main processor and the Mac-OS and performs all the operations taken care by main processor.

Does T2 chip benefit to apple consumer?

Yeah definitely it is beneficiary to apple consumer since its making an appealing target for motivated attackers. So, users may not worry about any data decryption.                                                               

The following features make T2 chip fascinating.

  • Secure Boot.
  • SSD controller.
  • Touch ID and secure enclave.
  • Image Signal Processor and audio controller.
  • Audio and Video gate keeping.

Secure Boot:

T2 chip ensures secure boot because start up processor is considered to be vulnerable for hacking, with T2 on your Mac booting forms an external drive and other sources will not be allowed. Therefore it is quite risky for hackers to steal your data by booting into another system.

SSD controller:

One of the most amazing things about T2 chip is that it does hardware encryption despite software. T2 chip uses a special key to encrypt the data so that all data can be easily encrypted over the SSD with password requirement. Each mac has a unique key hence the data cannot be unreadable if SSD is removed.

Touch ID and secure enclave:

The T2 chip notoriously encrypts your finger prints, improves face recognition and prevents unauthorized access to microphone and face HD camera.T2 chip stores the data and prevents sharing from third party apps. With AES encryption engine on chip the on-the -fly encryption encrypts data faster without affecting the performance of SSD.

Audio and Video Gate keeping:

T2 chip doesn’t allow access to microphone and face time camera because the hardware disconnects when the mac is closed and disable all the features so it’s difficult for hackers to override the system.

Issues with T2 chip:

We are aware with the fact that the better data is protected, the more difficult to retrieve the lost data because T2 chip uses a unique key to encrypt and decrypt the data. For suppose your T2 chip fails, then there’s no any software or any processor to encrypt and decrypt your last data. 

Some recovery labs can take out raw data, but still the data is unreadable since t2 security does allow SSD to be read on another Mac. But don’t worry we have come up with a better solution.

Decent Solutions:

  • iBoysoft Mac data recovery software is the only software which is available in market that can help in retrieving the last data from T2 laptops and desktops. 
  • If you have time Machine backup well good enough or else T2 chip data recovery will be very difficult to track the encrypted data without any backups.

Which Macs have T2 chip inside motherboard?

  1. Mac Book Air
  2. Mac Book Pro
  3. Mac mini
  4. Mac Pro
  5. iMac Pro

Future Insights…

However apple is keen on the functionality provided by the T2 chip. In future we might see a revised version of “T3”.We know that apple is heading towards apple silicon like those in iPhone and iPad. As T2 is not available as a separate chip however it is present over all Macs. 

What are your thoughts on this security chip? Come on comment below. For more amazing stuff do follow

See Also: “SHAKTI”-the first “Made in India” Microprocessor

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1 comment

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