Apple, SecureWorks force Macbook hackers to cancel Wi-Fi exploit talk

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Diego (CA) - The anticipated showdown between Macbook Wi-Fi hackers and Apple has failed to materialize. David Maynor and Johnny "Cache" Ellch cancelled their scheduled talk at the Toorcon computer security convention in San Diego.

The pairs was supposed to fully demonstrate the hack, but Maynor didn't take the flight to San Diego, while Ellch just gave a brief statement to convention attendees.

Johhny Cache Ellch

"Johnny Cache" Ellch reads statement to Toorcon attendees

The full text of Ellch's statement is viewable on Brian Kreb's Washington Post Security Fix blog here. Back in August, at the Black Hat computer security convention, Maynor, an employee of security services firm SecureWorks, and Ellch showed off a wireless attack against Macbooks. While the attack was only shown in a video to attendees, Maynor apparently demonstrated the attack in person to Krebs.

On Friday, 29 September, the day before the scheduled talk, SecureWorks told journalists that Maynor would not be presenting at the conference. Ellch told attendees that both Apple and SecureWorks "compelled" Maynor to cancel his. It's unknown what type of pressure the company exerted on Maynor. We contacted Elizabeth Clarke, SecureWorks' vice president of corporate communications, to get more details, but have not yet received a reply.

Ellch, who does not work for SecureWorks, declined to demonstrate the hack without Maynor.