Charging Smartphones with USB Could Lead to Data Thefts and Malware Infections, Experts warn. 13

Charging smartphone could lead to data theft

Charging Smartphones with USB Could Lead to Data Thefts

Charging Smartphone could lead to data theft
Personally, I dislike charging my phone via USB cable from a PC, it is annoyingly slow. Apparently, that may be the least of our worries as experts have warned that hackers can compromise your smartphone through a USB connection to a PC.
Using a regular PC, a standard micro USB cable, and a few special commands, Kaspersky experts were “able to re-flash a smartphone and silently install a root application on it.” Security researchers managed to compromise the smartphone without using any kind of malware. What more? Hackers could load your smartphones whilst on charging with malware and ransomware without the owner knowing about it.

Charging Smartphone could lead to data theft

The Researchers in a statement released last week said that as soon as you plug your phone into an untrusted computer using a USB cable, data starts transferring between your smartphone and the charger it is plugged into. For the period of the time your phone is plugged in, the device name, device manufacturer, device type, serial number, firmware information, operating system information, file system/file list, electronic chip ID could all be shared with the connected computer.
The experts gave the following tips when charging your device in a public place such as airports and cafes.
  • Do it using the standard power outlets and not Computers
  • Protect your mobile phone with a password, fingerprint recognition or any other form of protection
  • Use trusted antivirus solutions as they can help you detect malware even if a “charging” vulnerability is used.
  • Do not unlock your phone while it’s charging.
There’s also the issue of fake charging stations but unfortunately (or rather, fortunately) we do not have much of that here in Nigeria, that it is if there are any at all.


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Frederick Damasus is a tech enthusiast and blogger who has a passion for creativity and innovation. He is a self-taught graphic designer and currently delving into web design and development. He loves photography and volunteers his spare time to inspire children in orphanages through dance. He is a trained Petroleum Engineer but found himself in the AID/Development sector. He currently serves as the M&E/ICT Manager at the Center for Creative Development Strategies, an NGO based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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