You're giving a conference talk. You're running presentation software from your MacBook. The talk is going extremely well. Suddenly, you lose control of the presentation. Slides change randomly. You regain control. You begin a movie clip, the volume suddenly changes to max, and your audience covers their ears. You minimize the presentation software to investigate. iTunes launches, chooses Fuel by Metallica. At max volume. Your audience heads for the exits.
Your trusty laptop hasn't grown a mind of its own. It's been hijacked by someone in the audience with a remote control infrared receiver.
A post at tumblr exposes how the default setting of remote control infrared receiver on a MacBook leaves any presenter vulnerable to such a hijack attack. Peter Payne writes:
"By default, all Macs that have remote controls work with any remote, so it’d be possible to make all the computers start playing iTunes music at once, go to the next frame (if they were open to an app like PowerPoint/Keynote), etc. It’s easy to tie your computer to a specific remote control or turn off the remote feature completely, but few people know to do this."
To avoid this embarrassment, either pair your Apple Remote with your MacBook, or disable the remote control infrared receiver.
- Open System Preferences
- Choose Security & Privacy
- Click on the Lock icon and enter your password
- Click the Advanced... button
- If you want to pair your remote with your laptop, click Pair and follow these instructions
- Check the box Disable remote control infrared receiver
If you have not already done so, this would be an excellent time to also check the box Require an adminstrator password to access locked preferences.
Thanks to Martin McKeay for Tweeting about this and providing me with this teaching moment.