What the title says. If this is the case, even if you choose to delete everything OS X related and put entirely Linux in your box; you'd still be screwed. Hardware keyloggers sit between the keyboard and the motherboard, and record everything typed to memory (perhaps to be siphoned off to a remote server without your knowledge the first time the machine gets online) Also, macs are famously sealed-off black boxes that how it works under the hood is kept an intentional mystery by Apple.

Well, your thoughts, fellow mac-folk?

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    possible duplicate – Deniz Dec 7 '13 at 5:29
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    yes, if you believe in real aliens then that's a very likely possibility that Apple spend money & time to hide a keylogger (or a more sinister alien device) in every mac shipped. After all, they are the ones who want to take over the Word and stuff ... let be clear for everyone: I am using irony here, and I do NOT really think things like that. but this are entertaining sci-fi plots. Try post this on scifi.stackexchange.com – DavAlPi Dec 7 '13 at 8:55
  • @DavAlPi Very funny. Infosec is serious business. I'm not saying they have/haven't done this. Unless you're an electrical engineer of a certian caliber, you won't be able to prove this is the case or otherwise. If they intended to, it would be trivial to make a tiny change in the manufacturing process (hence not a big deal time/money-wise). By the way, if you have solid evidence that aliens don't exist, I'm all ears. Until then, I'll remain skeptical. You should too, here's why: Drake equation – Deniz Dec 7 '13 at 9:17
  • I'm fully skeptical. Really. I believe that any major HW manufacturer can easily (and so certainly will, dont you agree? ) put something strage into their suff. Trust no one. Go trash you computer, smart phone and car now. I have already done this and now I use a telegraph key (like this: ) wired to a PBX (and I do not reveal here how, it's a secret). That's not a user friendly set up and require some personal skill but ... it's the only way to be sure. (as before: my words are pure IRONY, go scifi.stackexchange.com NOW !!!!) – DavAlPi Dec 7 '13 at 9:35
  • @DavAlPi Obviously, the sentence "privacy for the weak, transparency for the powerful" doesn't resonate with you. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip – Deniz Dec 7 '13 at 9:47

Any system can contain embedded an hardware keylogger or trapdoor. Most of them do contain the last one. But a keylogger isn't as easy a task to integrate in a completly undetectable way. A keylogger will have to log. Here is the weak point where you will be able to detect it. Whichever is the way to log a keylogger will use, you will see something grow inside (hidden disk space, hidden memory space) or escape one way or another (network, light, radio-wave, sound, infrared).

When I look back at the way some bug in serious software aren't fixed, I can be nearly certain that a keylogger won't stay undetected for long.

A keylogger will talk and bug.

Taking into account the risk involved for any company trying to make such an evil minded choice, and a dangerous one (the keylogger once discovered will also be used by the enemies) I doubt any risk aware company will take this risk.

From my point of view, this is clearly a vital and an unacceptable risk.

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    Practically speaking it's relatively easy to hide a keylogger in a chip on the mainboard somewhere but much harder to hide the communication part. – nohillside Dec 10 '13 at 15:00

Not the exact same thing, but by chance I've stumbled open this semi-related blog post from 2009:

Apple keyboard firmware hack demonstrated

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they would need to have some memory to store the keylogged data.. this is extremely unlikely.. but i guess there is no way to be 100% sure if you are 100% paranoid. I wouldn't let it bother you though.



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  • ..says the guy who joined SE today with a reputation of 1 – Deniz Dec 7 '13 at 7:32
  • There are 100% too much 100% for such an answer and such a difficult OQ. – dan Dec 7 '13 at 10:02

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