After the massive ransomware attack on Acer by REvil, Apple supplier Quanta Computer Inc also got hit by the same ransomware group last month. The attackers said that they infiltrated and stole data from Quanta, including the MacBook schematics, and put them for sale on the dark web. The group had also demanded $50 million in cryptocurrency Monero. Now, independent technicians and repair experts have reportedly been able to use leaked schematics to aid complicated repairs.
According to a report from Vice, leaked MacBook schematics that were nabbed and released by REvil, such as PDFs revealing the motherboard circuitry are aiding repairers and technicians fix MacBooks better. The attack had leaked a large quantity of internal Apple documents about both released and unreleased devices, including “product blueprints.” But independent technicians, instead of using them to make their own MacBook Pro equivalents, are using them to better understand how some MacBook components fit together. Louis Rossmann, repair advocate and owner of the Rossmann repair Group, told Vice:
Our business relies on stuff like this leaking. This is going to help me recover someone’s data. Someone is going to get their data back today because of this.
Adding further he said,
You can’t go to Apple and say “I will give you $800,000 to give me this data.” When we fix the board, most of the time we preserve the data.
Motherboard Repairs are More Complex
While basic repairs like battery replacements are quite simple and can be done with guides and tools from the likes of iFixit, the logic board repairs are considerably more complex. This is because these involve minute adjustments to circuitry and chips and often carry the risk of data loss. So having detailed repair manuals and schematics for hardware gives a lot of help to technicians in repairing the devices. But Apple does not provide any of this and it makes the third-party repair technicians look elsewhere.
In this regard, the schematics leaked by REvil are proving to be of great help for third-party repair technicians, making them understand how MacBook components are connected. Rossmann says that it will help independent repairers lower the risk of data loss. Currently, repair technicians use simple trial and error to repair logic boards of MacBooks, which is time-consuming and also risks the complete breakage of multiple components.
Although reverse-engineered blueprints put together by third parties are available online, the REvil leak gives a more comprehensive understanding of the MacBook components to repairers. This gives much-needed help to the repair process.