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MIT PhD Student Hacks Vision Pro Just Days After Its Release

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Within days of its release, the Apple Vision Pro, a highly anticipated mixed reality headset, was found to have a significant security vulnerability. 

Joseph Ravichandran, a Ph.D. student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) identified a kernel vulnerability in the device’s visionOS. This flaw, if exploited, could allow for jailbreaks and malware attacks that would put users at risk. 

What Happened? 

  1. The software at the heart of the Vision Pro has a weak spot, known as a “kernel vulnerability.” 
  2. This weak spot can make the headset crash. Instead of showing digital images, it suddenly shows only what’s in front of you, called “full passthrough view.” 
  3. After crashing, the headset tells you to restart it, trying to fix the issue on its own. 

Why It Matters 

  • Access for Hackers: Kernel vulnerabilities offer hackers deep access to the device’s operating system. With this kind of access, hackers can install malware, which is malicious software designed to harm or steal data, or perform jailbreaks to remove hardware restrictions and gain further control. 
  • User Risks: The vulnerability puts users at risk of having their personal and sensitive information compromised. Hackers exploiting this flaw could access private data, leading to possible identity theft or financial loss. 
  • Need for Prompt Resolution: Given the vulnerability’s potential for significant harm, it’s crucial for Apple to address and patch this security flaw swiftly. 

Apple’s Response to the Security Flaw 

Currently, it’s unclear whether Apple has been informed about the kernel vulnerability found in the Vision Pro. However, given Apple’s track record, there’s an expectation for a fast update, particularly considering the Vision Pro’s premium status and price point. 

Updates and Follow-Up 

For the latest developments on this story, keep an eye on this article as we’ll be updating it with any new information. 

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.

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