Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Apple Devices Threatened By Fake Chargers

Reported by BBC News, a team from Georgia Institute of Technology has discovered a security threat that can affect any iOS device. By making their own custom built iPhone charger, they were surprising able to infect the phone with a virus in less than 1 minute.

The team - made up of Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song - manufactured their charger from parts of a computer called a BeagleBoard, which costs about $45. They began by taking some time to study Apple's security systems. Their intent was to essentially shed light on Apple's vulnerabilities and to show how easy it is to affect a device by making something as simple as a charger. So, with minimal materials and a good understanding of how Apple does things, the group was successful in maneuvering around numerous iOS defenses and load any software they desired onto any iOS device.

More details on this research (including ways the team has found to 'close the vulnerability') will be presented at the Black Hat USA hacker conference, which takes place in Las Vegas July 27-August 1st.