By Shailesh Shrivastava | Jun 05, 2013 01:41 PM EDT
Next time you buy a charger for your iPhone or borrow it from someone, just be careful as you might be going to connect your iPhone to a device that can hack it in less than a minute.
A team of researchers has developed a concept charger that can inject a Trojan program into an iPhone without making the transfer process visible. The team of three researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology is planning to show the concept design of the charger at the Black Hat security conference that is going to be held at the end of July.
The charger can inject and install the malware not only into iPhones, but also into any device running latest iOS operating system.
The Forbes published the report first in which it said that the charger is built around a computer sold by Texas Instruments for $45.
The researchers in their product description say that they probed the way security threats are considered while some normal activities with devices like charging them.
"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. All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction," the description says.
The researchers claim to be using an open-source single-board computer called BeagleBoard to build the power adopter, but the BeagleBoard computers are quite big to fit into small adopters. So we assume that the researchers have developed a docking station instead of a normal charging adopter that Apple sells.
"To demonstrate practical application of these vulnerabilities, we built a proof of concept malicious charger, called Mactans, using a BeagleBoard. This hardware was selected to demonstrate the ease with which innocent-looking, malicious USB chargers can be constructed," the description added.
The researchers also say that the concept device was built in limited resources and time. They also say that a well-funded project would have lead to better results.
According to the Forbes report, one of the researchers, Yeongjin Jang, said they have already informed Apple about their exploit but are yet to hear anything from the company.
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