Saturday, 24 August, 2019

This fake iPhone charging cable will hijack your computer

Modified iPhone lightning cables give hackers wireless access to Macs Modified Lightning Cable Gives Hackers Access To Your Apple Devices
Emmett Howard | 16 August, 2019, 13:20

He also worked with several other hackers to write some of the code and develop exploits, and gave away his supply of hand-built cables to Def Con attendees with a plan to sell them online in the near future, he said. The security researcher says that he can implant the component in any USB cable but "Apple just happens to be the most hard to implant, so it was a good proof of capabilities".

It comes after the discovery of rogue iPhone cables created to gain complete access to your computer while charging your iPhone.

"Not even your computer will notice a difference - until I, as an attacker, wirelessly take control of the cable".

"It looks like a legitimate cable and works just like one", said MG, speaking to Motherboard.

MG typed in the IP address of the fake cable on his own phone's browser, and was presented with a list of options, such as opening a terminal on my Mac. "From here, a hacker can run all sorts of tools on the victim's computer", reports Motherboard.

Hackers are using smartphone cables to steal data from unsuspecting users.

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At this point there doesn't appear to be any known defence against this attack, although we'd suspect that Apple will soon take steps in future releases of macOS to tighten up security on the USB port in much the same way that it has for the iPhone's Lightning port.

While MG chose to use an Apple Lightning cable as his proof-of-concept, there's nothing special about Lightning cables in this regard, and the technique can be adapted to any USB cable; MG notes that Apple's cable is just the most hard one to implant the chip in, so his idea was that if he could do it to a Lightning cable, he can do it to any cable. "Until I, as an attacker, wirelessly take control of the cable", Grover said.

But the O.MG Cable is only a prototype, according to Grover.

In order to keep your devices safe from such tools, it is always a good idea to avoid buying cables from untrusted vendors and only use the cable received in your iPhone box.

Apple recommends only using accessories certified by the company for the best protection. "But they do produce an "easy" to assemble malicious cable that will send a HID payload to the target, provide a charge to the phone and be a "close enough" visual representation of a legit cable". "You'll see a 12-digit serial number at the end of this text".

THE ONLY RISK Apple's Lightning cables have posted until now is frustration at Cupertino's insistence on a propitiatory connector for its iThingys.

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