Hacked by Lightning cable?

Security LockIt’s impossible to believe, what can be used to hack your computer by hackers. Forget about tracking people by GPS metadata on photos taken on their iPhones or catching passwords via keyloggers. A security researcher named MG created an evil Lightning cable that can give hackers a way to remotely access your computer. Cable is directly from Apple, but modified by adding additional components. Cable looks exactly like original one from Apple and this is one of the aspects making this tool so evil. But that’s not all.

If you use this hacked cable to connect your iPhone to computer, it will connect your iPhone and start charging. No suspicious activity will be spotted by user, but it lets hackers remotely connect to a machine to run commands. It comes equipped with scripts and commands that a hacker can run on a victim’s machine, along with tools to “kill” the USB implant to hide evidence of its existence.

Mentioned security researcher MG typed in the IP address of the fake cable on his own phone’s browser, and was presented with a list of options, such as opening a terminal on my Mac. From here, a hacker can run all sorts of tools on the victim’s computer. He also said:

“It’s like being able to sit at the keyboard and mouse of the victim but without actually being there.”

In the test with Motherboard, MG connected his phone to a wifi hotspot emanating out of the malicious cable in order to start messing with the target Mac itself. He needed to be within 300 feet to access the target machine – though hackers can use stronger antenna – but also said that the cable can be configured to act as a client for a nearby wireless network, potentially allowing for hacking from an unlimited distance.

MG wants to get the cables produced as a legitimate security tool with the Hak5 company, though these cables will be done from scratch rather than modified Apple ones.

MG also added really scary comment:

“Apple cables are simply the most difficult to do this to, so if I can successfully implant one of these, then I can usually do it to other cables.”

How to protect yourself against such hacks? There is no 100% way how to protect yourself, we have to hope Apple will improve security tools in iOS, like USB Restricted Mode.

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