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This App Warns You if Someone Tries to Open the Lid of Your MacBook

This App Warns You if Someone Tries to Open the Lid of Your MacBook

I am downloading this one immediately, as I don’t like the way my cat has been looking over my shoulder while I work…

Ex-NSA staffer Patrick Wardle has created an app that will warn you on your iPhone if someone tries to open the lid of your MacBook while you’re away from it.


He created the app after he believes that he was lured on a Tinder date in Moscow in order to allow someone to attempt to hack into the Mac in his hotel room. An attempt to gain access to an unattended Mac is known as an ‘Evil Maid’ attack as a hotel maid would be in the ideal position to execute it.

Wardle describes how the app works:

Do Not Disturb (DND) continually monitors your system for events that may indicate a precursor of “evil maid” attack. Specifically it watches for ‘lid open’ events (idea credit: @thegrugq).

If you’ve shut your laptop (and thus triggered sleep mode), the majority of physical access attacks may require the lid to be opened in order for the attack to succeed. Such attacks could include:

  • Logging in locally as root, by exploiting a bug such as ‘#iamroot’
  • Locally logging in via credentials captured by a hidden camera
  • Inserting a malicious device into a USB or Thunderbolt port.

The MacBook app is a freebie, and logs details of any “evil maid” events, telling you what was done, and allowing you to execute a script. But, if you want to be alerted of an event via your iOS device, you’ll need the companion iOS app, which offers a free 7-day trial and then requires a $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year subscription.

The iOS app not only alerts you to an attack, it also allows you to view a photo of the attacker and remotely initiate a hard shutdown of the Mac.

The Mac app is available for free here. And the iOS app is a free download from the App Store, and includes in-app purchases to subscribe after the 7-day free trial.

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