Cybersecurity experts have issued a warning to the public regarding the growing arsenal of tools being used by hackers. You should think twice about asking strangers to borrow their charging cables.
Even though the cable might appear to be ordinary, cyberhackers have figured out how to implant charging cables with malware that can remotely hijack mobile devices and computers to steal your passwords and other sensitive information.
In an interview with Forbes, IBM Security Global Managing Partner Charles Henderson said, “Being careful about what you plug into your devices is just good tech hygiene.” He compared it to any other sensitive travel item. “If you were on a trip and realized you forgot to pack underwear, you wouldn’t ask all your co-travelers if you could borrow their underwear. You’d go to a store and buy new underwear.”
The cable was reportedly unveiled in Las Vegas earlier this month at DEF CON by a hacker known as MG. According to his blog, the prototypes are being sold for $200, and “there is no warranty or other guarantee behind them. But they have all been tested extensively (I only pass about 10-20% of the ones that I make). These are hand built, and take ~4hrs to make. But I wanted to get something out there for those who are eager to try them out and/or help support us.”
Henderson added, This kind of attack doesn’t scale real well, so if you saw it, it would be a very targeted attack.” The best way to keep your devices safe is to remain vigilant and avoid borrowing charging cables from untrusted sources.