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Technology / Cybersecurity

Researchers say Apple’s iOS devices can be hacked using a malicious charger

A team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA has claimed that Apple’s iOS devices can be hacked using a malicious charger.

Three researchers, Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song, posted an outline for their presentation on the website for the Black Hat USA 2013 conference, which is due to start on 27 July this year.

Researchers said Apple products are generally considered as more secure than other mobile devices and they wanted to investigate whether that view is correct, particularly when it comes to everyday activities such as charging a device.

The researchers said: "The results were alarming: 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.

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"All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction.

Researchers said that to demonstrate practical application of the vulnerabilities, they built a proof of concept malicious charger, called Mactans, using a BeagleBoard.

"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," they said.

"Finally, we recommend ways in which users can protect themselves and suggest security features Apple could implement to make the attacks we describe substantially more difficult to pull off."


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CBR Staff Writer

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