Everyone has been there. You were commuting or out and about and forgot about packing your charging cable. So, you ask to borrow someone else’s.
But did you know that this simple act could put your passwords at risk?
Charles Henderson, Global Managing Partner and Head of X-Force Red at IBM Security, runs a team of hackers that clients hire to break into their computer systems in order to expose vulnerabilities.
Henderson shared with Forbes:
“There are certain things in life that you just don’t borrow. If you were on a trip and realised you forgot to pack underwear, you wouldn’t ask all your co-travellers if you could borrow their underwear. You’d go to a store and buy new underwear.”
The expert urged that as hackers have figured out a way to implant charging cables with malware (which can remotely hijack devices and computers) it is better to proceed with caution when it comes to borrowing chargers.
His team teaches clients to be less trusting of third-party charging cables by sending them fake iPhone cables in the mail which are branded with something, “like a vendor or a partner that they have listed on their website.” Then then check to see if the person plugs the cable in.
And while malicious charging cables are not a threat currently, Henderson says we will see it in the future.
He went on to share:
“The technology is really small and really cheap. It can get so small that it looks like an ordinary cable but has the capability and the intelligence to plant malware on its victim. These things are only going to get cheaper to produce and it’s not something your average consumer is going to be tracking to know when it becomes viable on a mass scale.”
The O.MG Cable is a perfect example of this, a product which was revealed in August of this year.