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2/21/2006
05:38 PM
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Apple May Be Going After OS X Hacker

On Tuesday, the site of a hacker known among tech circles as Maxxuss was offline, sparking speculation that its Internet service provider had pulled the plug at Apple's request.

Apple Computer Inc. may have intensified its legal efforts against a hacker working on technology to enable the Mac OS X for Intel to run on computers other than Apple's.

On Tuesday, the site of a hacker known among tech circles as Maxxuss was offline, sparking speculation that its Internet service provider had pulled the plug at the request of the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker. Maxxuss had recently developed and released a patch for running Mac OS X, version 10.4.4, on a generic computer running an Intel Corp. x86 processor.

"It appears that Apple may have gotten to Maxxuss, the hacker made famous for his flagrant cracks and patches of Mac OS X for Intel," the OSx86 Project, a MacTel enthusiast site, said on its homepage. "A visit to his Website reveals that his site has been shutdown by his host, the cause of which we do not know at this time."

Links to the patch that appeared on the OSx86 forum prompted the site on Friday to take down the message board at the request of Apple attorneys. Apple notified the site that it may be in violation of the company's intellectual property rights.

Members of OSx86 had posted the links.

"Since the beginning, we have made it known that we would be very willing to work with Apple regarding any concerns they had with their intellectual property and this site," the OSx86 said in a weekend posting. "After speaking with the lawyer representing Apple, we've removed the handful of links to Maxxuss' Website from the Forum."

On Tuesday, however, it appeared Apple might have upped the ante, going after Maxxuss himself. The host of the site took it down Tuesday, but it was not known whether Apple was responsible.

Apple did not respond to requests for an interview. The OSx86 Project also could not be reached.

Apple has embedded anti-piracy technology to prevent hackers from cracking the OS and moving it to other hardware. The company has waged not only a legal effort to stop pirates, but has also hidden its own warning to hackers in the form of a poem embedded in OS X. The poem ends with "Please don't steal Mac OS! Really, that's way un-cool."

The company has said the poem was a reminder to potential thieves.

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