You’ve pushed the battery life on your iPhone to the brink, to the tiniest red sliver possible, and race to find the nearest charger for some much-needed juice.
While virtually everyone has found themselves in that situation at some point in time, I imagine few knew that something as simple as charging your device could be potentially harmful.
As reported by Andy Greenberg for Forbes, a trio of hackers at the Black Hat hacking conference will soon demonstrate how malware can be injected into iOS devices through a malicious third-party charger. The exact process has yet to be revealed, but consists of leveraging USB capabilities to bypass iOS defense mechanisms.
“Despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system (OS) software,” the presentation briefing reads. “All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction.”
Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song, the three that discovered this hack, have built a proof-of-concept charger, called Mactans, to demonstrate the practical application of these vulnerabilities. Black Hat USA 2013 takes place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from July 27 – August 31.