A well-meaning hacker has devised a way to control a person's smartphone - through their charging cable. It has taken several steps to make both hardware and software of its devices secure.
THE ONLY RISK Apple's Lightning cables have posted until now is frustration at Cupertino's insistence on a propitiatory connector for its iThingys.
Dubbed the O.MG cable, the Apple USB lightning cable looks normal from the outside like any other charging cable.
The cables are so convincing that not even your computer will notice something is amiss when it's connected. The researcher adds that the O.MG cable, which is a modified version of Apple Lightning cables, looks so much like the original one that it's hard to spot the difference.
He unveiled his project at the annual Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this month - explaining that he spent thousands of dollars in the process, with each doctored cable taking four hours to make.
He now wants to get the cables produced as a legitimate security tool. "In the end, I was able to create 100 percent of the implant in my kitchen and then integrate it into a cable".
When the security researcher typed in the IP address of the counterfeited cable in his phone's browser, he was presented with options including opening a terminal on a Mac. And these prototypes at Def con were mostly done the same way.
However, if the cable connects to a WiFi network with external internet access, the cable could theoretically be used to hack a connected computer from across the world.
'It's like being able to sit at the keyboard and mouse of the victim but without actually being there'. The cable is not just said to include payloads, scripts and commands but can also let hacker "kill' the USB port".
The current version requires the attacker to be within 300 feet of the victim, but Grover said a hacker could use a stronger antenna to reach further if necessary.
The cable has a custom PCB module that replaces the original circuit board available on the Lightning cable to enable wireless connectivity.