UPDATED 23:05 EDT / AUGUST 11 2019


Lightning cables can be hacked to access Apple devices

Apple Inc. users be warned: Hacked Lightning cables can be used to enable remote access to your computers and phones.

The warning comes via a developer who goes by the name of MG who offered what he called OM.G Cables, Lightning cables with the hardware hack included at the DEF CON conference Las Vegas over the weekend.

The malicious cables in question appear to be normal Lightning cables and work exactly as they should, charging phones and syncing data. But the developer added a wireless implant to them, giving him access as soon as the cable is used.

“It looks like a legitimate cable and works just like one, the developer told Motherboard. “Not even your computer will notice a difference. Until I, as an attacker, wirelessly take control of the cable.”

There are some limitations, the primary one being that the wireless implant can only be accessed within around 300 feet. But as MG noted, they could be handed out as freebies or gifts and no one would even stop to think that a cable could be hacked.

Once a malicious cable is used, access to the connected devices is dead simple. Using the IP address of the cable via a browser, the hacker is presented with various options of attack including terminal access. With terminal access, the ability to install malware, ransomware or whatever the hacker so desires is open to personal choice. “It’s like being able to sit at the keyboard and mouse of the victim but without actually being there,” MG wrote.

The hacked cables don’t come cheap, currently offered at $200 each since they’re handmade. But MG said he’s looking to have the cables produced as a “legitimate security tool” and is in talks to make this happen.

The hacked cables open a Pandora’s box when it comes to future security because they prove Lightning cables can be hacked fairly easily, with others likely to follow.

Photo: Pixabay

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