A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built a charging device capable of infecting Apple’s iPhone with malware.
Set to be showcased by the team at the Black Hat security conference next month, the charger is a result of the team’s research, which aims to product a variety of hacking devices disguised as normal items.
Known by the codename Mactans, the charger is powered by an on-board computer that is used to hack the iPhone and its iOS platform.
"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," said the researchers.
The team also claims the device is capable of bypassing the security measures of iOS in under one minute, in addition to being almost undetectable. Matched with the device’s small form factor, such as a dummy charger, the technology is a powerful and potentially dangerous one for consumers.
Most smartphone users are no stranger to searching for a power source as their device runs low in juice. In future, consumers might need to be more aware of what source they’re connecting their device to.