How to Hack an iPhone With a USB Charger

June 3, 2013 – 11:57 PM

When it comes to threats to mobile devices, most people don’t think of chargers as a likely point of attack. But plugging in an iPhone — or any smartphone or tablet — could come at a price.

At next month’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, three Georgia Institute of Technology researchers will show how a USB-connected charger can silently install malicious code onto an iOS device. It’s a concept referred to in computer-security circles as “juice jacking.”

Boston-based security expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who designs iOS hacking tools for law enforcement, said he’s long been aware that Apple devices are vulnerable to such attacks — and that the exploit the Georgia Tech researchers will show may be just the tip of the iOS-weakness iceberg.


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