Researchers describe hacking iOS devices with malicious charger

June 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

ATLANTA, June 3 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say an innocent-looking phone charger could invisibly install malware on an iPhone or other devices running the latest version of Apple's iOS.

Three researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology said they would demonstrate a malicious charger at the upcoming Black Hat security conference in late July, Forbes reported Monday.

On the website for the upcoming conference, the researchers described the results of their experiments as "alarming. Despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system software," they said.

"All users are affected, as our approach requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction."

The researchers said they built their device around an open-source single-board computer known as a BeagleBoard, sold by Texas Instruments for a retail price of around $45.

"This hardware was selected to demonstrate the ease with which innocent-looking, malicious USB chargers can be constructed," the researchers wrote.

The Georgia Tech researchers said they had contacted Apple about their experimental exploit but had yet to hear back from the company.

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