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The charger cable that steals mobile data

When we see a cable in the mobile charger, we always see that, a cable, an innocent component whose mission is really simple, to transmit electric current between two points.

Charger cables are a part of every home, and there are not many different types: Lightning, microUSB, USB-C… it is easy to recognize one that breaks the rule.

The fact is that there are cables that, with the same aesthetics as the well-known ones, have something else inside, a miniature modem that is capable of creating a private Wi-Fi between the connected mobile and another device that is nearby.

This is how they tell it in gizmodo, where they indicate that the cable is the result of a demonstration that something like this can be done, in fact it sells for about $ 120.

The responsible security researcher reports the details on his Twitter account @_MG_, where it indicates how a fake cable and a nearby hacker with the right application, is able to get our private data extracted without much trouble.

The name of the cable is O.MG, and it was first presented to the public in 2019 as a demonstration at an exhibition. Now it is on sale, and there are even versions for keyboards that are capable of stealing the keystrokes we make.

To understand the danger of having cables like this on the market, I give you an example.

I sit in a cafeteria at the airport and charge my cell phone. In a moment of confusion, a hacker exchanges my cable for one of this type, and sits next to me. From now on, and without me mistrusting anything, a private WiFi is created between my mobile and the hacker’s device, from where you can access all my information without any problem.

I can take the cable home and continue using it without ever suspecting that it was the entry of something worse than a virus.

As a recommendation: always put a colored sticker on your cable, so that if someone changes it, you will detect it quickly. And, of course, never use unknown cables that you find out there (and much less in places where there are many people around).

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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