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Chip T2 physically disconnects microphone when Mac lid is closed

I can't say that the security chip T2, Apple, exactly a newbie: It was first introduced in iMac Pro almost a year ago, and then found its way into the MacBook Pro; Now it is also coming to the new MacBook Air and Mac mini. And to celebrate its expansion, Ma today released a new document detailing the coprocessor features that make the machines equipped with it even safer and more reliable.

The Apple T2 security chip, our second generation custom chip for our computers, brings the industry's best security to the Mac. It includes a coprocessor Secure Enclave, which provides the foundation for APFS encrypted storage, secure boot, and Touch ID on the Mac. In addition, the T2 chip integrates with several controllers found on our other computers such as the system management controller, the image signal processor, the audio and SSD.

() The features of the T2 chip are made possible by the combination of design, hardware, software and services available only from Apple. These capabilities combine to deliver unparalleled privacy and security features never before present on your Mac.

A part of the document draws attention: On portable Macs, the T2 chip has a way of physically disconnecting the computer microphone (s) from the logic board when the device cover is closed. This way, no software, even with system root access or possibly controlling the T2 chip itself, can capture audio from your computer if its cover is closed.

Apple does not employ a similar solution for the MacBook camera for a very simple reason: by closing the camera lid, the lens is no longer able to capture anything, so such a solution would be a redundancy first of all.

Other important points of T2 operation, such as the Secure Enclave and the encryption of APFS volumes, are detailed in the document released today by Ma. If you are English-born and like and / or care about these more technical details, the guide can be viewed here (PDF).

via TechCrunch

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