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“Apple iPhones can be taken over with ‘alarming’ ease using a custom-built charger, security researchers warn,” BBC News reports. “Using the bogus charger, a team from Georgia Institute of Technology managed to infect a phone with a virus in less than a minute,” the Beeb reports. “Any device using Apple’s iOS operating system would be as vulnerable to infection, claim the trio. More details of their work will be given at the upcoming Black Hat USA hacker conference.”

They continued, “The team created their malicious charger using a tiny bare-bones computer called a BeagleBoard that costs about £30 ($45). ‘This hardware was selected to demonstrate the ease with which innocent-looking, malicious USB chargers can be constructed,’ wrote the researchers in their conference summary… The presentation will also make recommendations about how Apple could close the vulnerability uncovered by the team.”

First, this is not a commercially available product and second, at $45, a company would have to be very convincing to get consumers to purchase the chargers. Any device can be hacked via a charging dock or USB port but does require the use of a small computer in the charging device. This creates obviously additional costs and does not seem to be a cost effective way to infect malware or viruses. The Black Hat USA conference exists solely for this purpose, to expose weaknesses and access points in companies’ products. Expect Apple to take whatever steps necessary to prevent this from happening with their devices.

Source: BBC News

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