Jailbroken idevices pwned by charging stations

Powered by SC Magazine
 

USB mode silently comes to life.

Data can be stolen from Windows, Android and Apple devices by unassuming power charging towers.

In an attack demonstrated at the Defcon hacking conference, mobile phone charging units were rigged to pull data from phones plugged into them.

They were laced with different power charging adaptors to make them more appealing.

Some stock phones were safe since they deactivated USB mode when they were powered off, but others were not so lucky.

Many jailbroken and modified devices activated USB functions when  they were plugged in, or simply rebooted.

That gave security researchers Brian Markus, Joseph Mlodzianowski and Robert Rowley the access they needed to pull data, though they instead served victims with a warning.

“If the phone died due to lack of power, in most cases the phone would boot up upon
plugging it in, then expose the data,” Marcus said.

Three hundred and sixty four people fell for the trick. Each was served with a message that warned of the dangers of using public power charging stations.

The researchers were still crunching over the findings, however Markus said specifications that may mean USB modes were silently actived included the platform and version of operating system and root kits and jailbreaks used, whether custom systems like Android ROMs were used, and the drivers loaded on the host.

Markus said the team was to his knowlegde the first to expose the threat, but said he was suspcious “of certain power kiosks”.

“Our goal is to promote security awareness.  While we do have several other variants of this demo that shows what could happen, we demo them in a responsible way.”

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


Jailbroken idevices pwned by charging stations
 
 
 
Top Stories
Australia passes data retention into law
Mammoth last-ditch effort by Greens, indies knocked back.
 
ATO to kill off e-Tax
Veteran software to be replaced by more modern myTax.
 
CSC embroiled in CBA IT bribery scandal
ServiceMesh named in alleged dodgy dealing.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Xero now includes an inventory function built-in
Mar 26, 2015
Xero has added inventory and other major new features to the latest release of its cloud ...
Apple reveals its new MacBook
Mar 13, 2015
Replacing the MacBook Air as Apple's thinnest laptop, the new MacBook comes packed with features.
Xero has released a new version of its app for the iPad
Mar 6, 2015
iPad-wielding Xero users can now take advantage of a new version of the iOS app for the cloud ...
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Do you support the Government's data retention scheme?

   |   View results
Yes
  8%
 
No
  92%
TOTAL VOTES: 1178

Vote