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Apple’s Leaked Memo References ‘Kill Switch’ That Prevents Repairs By Outsiders
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Oct 2018
Image via Apple
A note supposedly sent out to Apple’s Authorized Service Providers in September details that the company has implemented software locks that could brick devices should they be repaired by anyone unaffiliated with Apple.
First picked up by tech sites Motherboard and MacRumors, the internal memo says that Apple computers would become “inoperative” should users or third parties attempt to fix them.
The system has been installed in devices with the ‘T2’ security chip, which is currently found in the 2018 MacBook Pros and iMac Pro.
According to the document, a MacBook Pro would be rendered obsolete if a third party fiddles with its display, logic board, internal housing, keyboard, touchpad, or Touch ID pad.
As for the iMac Pro, the “kill switch” will be activated if someone tries to replace its logic board or flash storage.
The only way to reverse this effect is if the gadget goes through the brand’s proprietary diagnostic software, ‘Apple Service Toolkit 2’, which is only available to Apple staffers or Authorized Service Providers.
“Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair,” the memo reads.
If you own any of these devices, fret not. Repair expert iFixit just purchased a 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar unit solely to test the system, and found that “Apple’s secret repair kill switch hasn’t been activated—yet.”
iFixit’s CEO Kyle Weins also told Motherboard that there are two likely reasons why Apple decided to adopt this function: planned obsolescence where “they want to control the ecosystem” and security, though he hasn’t “see[n] a security model that doesn’t trust the owner of the device making much sense.”
[via TechSpot and Motherboard, cover image via Apple]
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