Updating airport extreme firmware


You probably don't think a lot about the firmware on your gadgets because it's more or less invisible.

Unlike software updates for OS X or Windows, which often add new features, the firmware what makes your gadgets—from your laptop to your Nest Thermostat—operate at the most basic level.

"[Apple] supported that for a very long time, even after we built our own, re-organized the division, and some of the guys we brought on to advance the platform were twice-removed." The internal departmental changes suggest that Apple has no plans to update its existing lineup of routers, including the Air Port Extreme, Time Capsule, and Air Port Express, but do not discount the possibility of the functionality being added to a different product.

Apple's Air Port Express network extender and Air Play audio target has not even been updated to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification.

"Just because the hardware guys have moved on to other things, doesn't mean we won't support the software." Near the end of November, reports started circulating —backed by sources —suggesting that Apple may be ending the Air Port family hardware.It’s specifically for Air Port Extreme and Air Port Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac.Apple also said there are security holes patched in the update, but the security document for this release has not been published as of this writing.Apple released Air Port Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.8 on Tuesday.The update fixes an issue that caused some Air Port Base Stations to disappear from Air Port Utility when Find My Mac is on.Without firmware telling your gadgets what to do, they wouldn't work at all, and that's exactly what makes firmware security problems so serious.Apple has been vague on the nature of the problem with its Air Port routers, only saying that "a memory corruption issue existed in DNS data parsing" which could allow an attacker to execute code on devices connected to your network.On Tuesday, Apple released versions 7.6.8 for the 802.11n Air Port Extreme, and 7.7.8 for the 802.11ac Air Port Extreme.According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes an issue where the routers would not respond to the Air Port Utility when "Back to My Mac" is enabled. Air Port software updates are installed through the Air Port Utility.If the routers are not visible as a result of "Back to my Mac" being enabled, disabling the feature and rebooting the routers rectifies the problem, allowing the software patch to be installed.spoke with our contacts inside Apple regarding the matter shortly after the update went live.

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