At the Black Hat Security Conference to be held later this year, the use of chargers to spread viruses and hack iPhones will be discussed. Though the technology is in its nascent stages it has the capacity to be quite malicious. Already it is being said that such devices exist and are being employed by hackers as a means to fulfill their nefarious ends.
What if someone really wanted to hack your iPhone and all he had to do was casually pass you his charger? The charger would have a built-in device that would spread malware on to your iPhone. While such chargers aren’t common there is a growing fear that they may have infiltrated the market. According to Forbes, already there is talk of a group having constructed one. In spite of the fact that the security arrangements installed onto the iPhone were quite difficult to break through, the new charger has proved that anyone with the gadget may find his way into the other person’s iPhone with impunity. This of course conjures up images of an Orwellian future. The Operating Systems being used on the current Apple version were compromised thanks to this cyber-spying charger.
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The rumors were confirmed when a couple of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology declared that they had found a way of hacking an iPhone through a charging cord. They want to discuss the consequences of this with Apple so that the electronics giant can do something about it. With this sort of ease in gaining access to the private information of others there would be hell to pay in the form of loss of confidentiality. And the really worrisome thing was that this hacking method was so simple that even a child could accomplish it with promptness. No complicated actions were requires on either end. All it took was the sly lending of a seemingly harmless charger to an iPhone user. What the poor fellow or lass didn’t know was that the charger was different from ordinary ones and would destroy the security system of the precious iPhone. Like Gresham’s Law which says that bad money drives out good, this cheating charger would fit in bad programs in place of the normal software.
The implications are rather ominous. A stranger’s charger could get inside your iPhone and ruin your privacy forever. At the Black Hat Security Conference the group of researchers plans to demonstrate their findings. Termed Mactans, the malicious charger was manufactured using BeagleBoard. The accessibility of the hardware was proof that this sort of hacking behavior could be pulled off by almost anyone.
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