Researchers develop iPhone charger that can hack the device

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Team from the Georgia Institute of Technology set to unveil charger at security conference

Researchers from a US university have developed a charger for iOS devices which can hack into the device to highlight a potential security breach.

A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology are set to unveil the device at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas next month.

According to their synopsis their ‘Mactans’ charger uses the USB port to bypass security features of the iPhone. Researchers Billy Lau, Yeongiin Jang and Chengyu Song claim using the charger they can hack into a handset in under one minute.

In their presentation Lau, Jang and Song will outline the dangers of attacks through USB ports and offer security solutions.

Writing in the event programme, the team said: ‘To demonstrate practical application of these vulnerabilities, we built a proof of concept malicious charger, called Mactans. This hardware was selected to demonstrate the ease with which innocent-looking, malicious USB chargers can be constructed.

‘While Mactans was built with limited amount of time and a small budget, we also briefly consider what more motivated, well-funded adversaries could accomplish. Finally, we recommend ways in which users can protect themselves and suggest security features Apple could implement to make the attacks we describe substantially more difficult to pull off.’

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