iOS users beware! Your charger can be used to load malware onto your device

iPhone 5 Lightning chargerJust when you thought it was safe to borrow an iPhone charger from a complete stranger, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have discovered a way to bypass Apple security using one, according to Tech News World.

Billy Lau, a research scientist who lead the team of students working on the project, said that, after loading the malware onto the charger, it took less than a minute to compromise the security of the iOS device, regardless of whether or not it was jailbroken or if the user even took any action on the phone.

Like Lau pointed out, most iOS users tend to feel that their devices are impenetrable, as far as viruses are concerned, so few are likely to actually install any antivirus software, opening them up to an onslaught from hackers who, guaranteed, are very well aware of this knowledge.

The finding will be presented in great depth at this year’s Black Hat USA 2013, which takes place in Las Vegas from July 27 through August 1. They will discuss Mactans, the name they’ve given the hacked chargers, and how they work.

Essentially, after bypassing the iPhone’s security software, the virus mimics the same approach Apple’s built-in software works, hiding in the background, virtually undetectable, but still fully running. They’ll also discuss what a well-funded group of hackers could do with this vulnerability; Lau pointed out that his team was under both time and financial restrictions.

Just how big is this potential threat? At first glance, it may seem as though it’s not really that big a deal. Just use your own charger and be done with it. However, consider the rise in the “bring your own device” concept many businesses are starting to implement among their employees, coupled with the U.S. military’s recent decision to approve iOS devices for official use. It doesn’t cost that much to build a charger that looks exactly like Apple’s charger; all it would take is a quick switch. Whether one infected phone could spread the virus to others on the same network, Lau did not comment on, but hopefully will comment on at next month’s event.

For now, everyday Joes probably don’t really need to worry about this. But for all you high profile peeps … don’t leave your charger at home.


Cops called to handle ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ noise end up playing the game

A group of friends were playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch when cops arrived to respond to noise complaints from neighbors. In an unexpected twist, the officers ended up playing the game, too.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.

How to delete games on your PS4

PlayStation 4 games eat up storage space quickly, which will inevitably require you to make room for new games. Here's how to delete and reinstall games on PS4 for those times when you have to manage your storage space.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.