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Talk on Apple's FileVault security canceled

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Fri August 1, 2008

Black Hat speech canned

A Georgia-born author, researcher and speaker who was due to deliver a speech about a new flaw in Apple's FileVault encryption system at the annual Black Hat hacker convention next week in Las Vegas will no longer be speaking at the event, according to a recent report. The encryption system is used in the Mac OS X v10.3 and newer operating systems. Charles Edge's scheduled presentation was pulled from the scheduled talks last week. Edge claims to have signed confidentiality agreements with Apple prevented him from delivering the address.

FileVault was found to be susceptible to RAM-based hacks earlier this year, and there are no details about what new weakness Edge found. Not only does the agreement with Apple prevent the director of technology at 318, Inc. restrain him from speaking at Black Hat, but he cannot discuss the matter deeper.

Many believe the cancellation will bring an unwanted type of attention to Apple's encryption system, with curious parties trying to find out exactly how the system could be compromised.

The circumstances are not exclusive to this year's Black Hat convention, as reverse engineering expert Halvar Flake didn't deliver his presentation in 2007 due to inconvenient complications with his visa that denied him entry into the US. At an East Coast Black Hat event earlier this year, IOActive couldn't present its findings on weaknesses in the security of RFID cards thanks to HID Global's legal intervention.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jhawk95

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is he from the State of Georgia or the Country of Georgia? Does it even matter?

    What is the importance if here were from either place. One is a third-world country and one is a third-world state.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    does it matter?

    Really, is anyone out there daring enough to trust FileVault? After the initial problems, I've just refused to touch it (not to mention having to tweak certain app settings so as to not write files to your home directory).

  1. jhawk95

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I mean Testudo....

    I know that the File Vault issue is important... I want to know of what importance is it that the guy is Georgia-born? And I want to know which Georgia it is since they brought it up.

    Would it matter if he were from Shang-hai .. that is Beijing for those of you who do not know... or from Little Rock Arkansas?

    Why bring it up that he is from Georgia unless there is some significance to it. The last person of any significance to come from Georgia.. and you can argue if it is good or bad... wa that peanut farmer Jimmy Carter!

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Testicular....

    "Would it matter if he were from Shang-hai .. that is Beijing for those of you who do not know... "

    Duh, Beijing is Peking. You working for Bush or McCain? Repeat after me....
    I am not smarter than a 5th grader!

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ... he is in consultation with Apple to address this flaw and thus has signed an NDA.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: testicular

    Oh, hillarious! A play on a person's name! How original. Apparently jdonahoe should have expanded it to rather imply you haven't passed fifth grade yet.

    As for my remarks, I apologize. I wasn't talking to you, I was referring to the article. When it was first released, filevault was perfectly secure. It had the tendency to corrupt itself, thus making your data completely unretrievable. After that, I'm surprised anyone would trust it. As such, does it matter if there is a security hole in it, if no one uses it?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Maybe

    No, it sounds more like the NDA was signed to get access to find the flaw (which could be just that he's a developer and that NDA prevents him from talking).

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