The T2 processor in the MacBook Air prevent hackers using the microphone in your MacBook Air when the lid is closed.
Apple recently published a security guide that outlines the T2’s security features.
It includes the information about the features that we already knew about:
- Secure Enclave
- Storage Encryption
- Secure boot
- Touch ID
In addition to the above features it introduces a previously unknown feature that physically disconnects the microphone when 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.)
The feature is not new to the MacBook Air as it is available in all Mac portables with the T2 chip included including the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models.
Cover Image: iFixit