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Researchers hack iPhone with USB charger

  • 10 June 2013
  • Written by 
  • Published in Security

A security flaw in USB chargers has stoked new fears around Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads.

Doctoral students at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US Chengyu Song and Yeongjin Jang, along with staff researcher Billy Lau said they were able to bypass Apple software security and install ''arbitrary software'', including malware, allowing attackers to hack in.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the group explained in a speech that they managed to inject malware in devices in under a minute, through the USB charger.

"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," reads the description of the researchers' speech.

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

The malicious charger uses BeagleBoard, a $US45 open-source hardware single-board computer, meaning potentially anyone with basic hacking skills and a spare $45 could get to work.

The news follows a recent update to iOS that plugs various security holes, but seemingly not this one.

The three plan to discuss the research at the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas in June.

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