The Perils of USB Device Charging

Posted: November 9, 2014 in Technology

We all love the convenience of just being able to plug-in our devices to convenient USB ports located on our computers, on airplanes, at airports, or hotels but have you ever stopped to think about what might be on the other side of that USB connection? Up until now an iPhone has not been capable of being infected via a USB connection, unfortunately that has changed. A new malware released on 6-November now has the ability to infect your phone via a USB connection. It’s always a good idea to use extra precautions when connecting to an un-known USB connection. While, to date, no one has infected a smart phone via a public charging station it was however demonstrated at one of the last international hacking conferences that were held. The problem is that someone could easily hide a tiny computer within one of those charging stations that contained malicious code to infect your device. Once someone had access to your device they could potentially track your GPS location, read all your e-mails and text messages, or worse.

While we certainly can’t live our lives in fear over the dangers of technology it is always prudent to be cautious when connecting our devices to an unknown source. I personally shy away from direct USB connections to charging stations or on planes and stick with my USB wall adapter just to err on the side of caution.

One final note, whether you use USB or your wall adapter, never leave your phone unattended.  I see it happen in airports all the time.  While we’d like to believe everyone in the airport is honest, leaving your phone alone at a charging station is just asking for someone to take it.

Source – http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/06/apple-malware/

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Comments
  1. J. Willcox says:

    Good piece Arc.

    Like

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