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November 24, 2014

Warning: Smoking causes malware

Malware transferred when charging e-cigarette via PC USB port.

By CBR Staff Writer

Several online reports suggest that e-cigarettes can be used to spread malicious software when being charged.

During charging via USB on a PC, an e-cigarette from an unreliable supplier may gain physical access to a device, the Guardian warned.

An undisclosed Reddit user reported that at least one ‘vaper’ has been the source of malware.

"One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined," the user added.

"After all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities."

"The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system."

Reports also revealed that e-cigarettes and associated kits, including chargers, had been involved in over 100 fires within two years.

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Trend Micro security consultant Rik Ferguson said: "For consumers it’s a case of running up-to-date anti-malware for the production linestuff and only using trusted devices to counter the threat."

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