Malicious apps, emails and links are a thing of the past as a group of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology claim to have developed a new iPhone charger that can install malware on almost any Apple device running on the latest version of iOS.
At the Black Hat security conference in late July which is going to be held in Las Vegas, these researchers plan to show off a proof-of-concept charger that demonstrates how easily they can compromise an iOS device in less than a minute with the help of just a charger.
“To demonstrate practical application of these vulnerabilities, we built a proof of concept malicious charger, called Mactans, using a BeagleBoard,” the group explains.
“This hardware was selected to demonstrate the ease with which innocent-looking, malicious USB chargers can be constructed. While Mactans was built with limited amount of time and a small budget, we also briefly consider what more motivated, well-funded adversaries could accomplish.”
The trio who discovered the flaw in Apple’s iOS didn’t have any malicious intentions. In fact, they have already contacted Apple about the exploit. During the conference, the team would also recommend some ways to stay safe with their devices.
However, these researchers are not the first to take advantage of device’s Lightning connector. iOS device’s combined data and power port has been the most common entry point for users who want to jailbreak their devices to remove Apple’s restrictions. For instance, the popular jailbreaking tool named as evasi0n has been used more than 18 million times by iOS users to hack their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This means that for iOS users, hacking is nothing new but this new type of hacking method developed by these researchers show ‘alarming’ results, and that too, without the end user’s knowledge.
Apple is yet to comment anything on this matter, and we’ll keep you informed if we hear anything official from the company about this matter. Stay tuned.