Cybersecurity experts have advised the general public to stop borrowing smartphone chargers from others to charge.
It is common practice for people to borrow phone chargers from others when they either misplace or forget theirs at home, never minding the consequences of such acts.
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At the annual DEF CON Hacking Conference in Las Vegas, Charles Henderson, Global Managing Partner and Head of X-Force Red at IBM Security, advised against such practice
“Being careful about what you plug into your devices is just good tech hygiene,” says Mr Henderson.
He narrated how he set up a team of hackers to try and deter clients from trusting third party chargers.
According to Mr Henderson, cyberhackers have learnt the skill of implanting malwares on charging cables.
At the conference, a certain hacker, MG, demonstrated how modified charging cables work.
When connected to a device, the hacker remotely gains access and takes over the device. The hacker could also delete any trace of evidence from the system.
Mr Henderson further explained this sort of hack is yet to become a global problem “but attention should be paid most especially when the tech is cheap and really small”.
He also advised against charging devices with public USB ports especially at the airports, train stations and other public outlets.
Mr Henderson said with such technology in play, sharing cables was equivalent to sharing your passwords.
“If you were on a trip and realised you forgot to pack underwear, you wouldn’t ask all your co-travelers if you could borrow their underwear.
You’d go to a store and buy new underwear,” Mr Henderson cited a possible situation he likened to sharing cables.
The best precaution is to always use original chargers.