Alongside its new hardware and software unveiled this afternoon, Apple has published a full security guide for its T2 security chip. The T2 is featured in the new Mac mini and Retina MacBook Air, and Apple is highlighting its many benefits in today’s security document.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
As first highlighted by TechCrunch, one of the most notable details revealed in Apple’s T2 security chip guide is that the chip works directly with the microphone hardware to cut off access when the display lid is closed. This is done an effort to prevent a hacker from eavesdropping on users through the microphone while their laptop is not in use.
Apple further notes that the camera is not disabled as part of this because, rather obviously, the field of view is completely obstructed while the lid is closed:
All Mac portables with the Apple T2 Security Chip feature a hardware disconnect that ensures that the microphone is disabled whenever the lid is closed. This disconnect is implemented in hardware alone, and therefore prevents any software, even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip, from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed.
The camera is not disconnected in hardware because its field of view is completely obstructed with the lid closed.
Ultimately, Apple touts that the T2 chip makes for “unrivaled privacy and security features never before present on Mac.”
The features of the Apple T2 Security Chip are made possible by the combination of silicon design, hardware, software, and services available only from Apple. These capabilities combine to provide unrivaled privacy and security features never before present on Mac.
The T2 security chip has already proved incredibly useful for Mac users. For instance, just last month all Macs except those featuring the T2 chip were vulnerable to a cold boot attack.
Read Apple’s full T2 chip security guide right here.
For full coverage of Apple’s October event, read our live news hub here.