We reported on this issue a while back. It is possible to hack iOS devices using an infected charger. Georgia Tech Information Security Center researchers have already demonstrated how that works at the Black Hat Security conference. They installed software into a device, called Macatans, that works like Apple’s charger. Once you connect an iPhone to this device, it will be infected with a malicious software in about a minute. The bad news is you won’t know your device is being hacked.
As this experiment shows, it is easy to infect mobile devices using an infected charger without their users knowing it. Hackers could potentially use this approach for spying. Apple has not addressed this issue directly yet but it will surely come up with a response to make hacking iOS devices even harder.
Speaking of Apple adapters, the company is now offering a trade-in program for third-party iPhone & iPad adapters. We have heard all kinds of scary stories about defective adapters causing major issues for iOS users in the past. With this move, Apple wants to make sure people use the right adapter to charge their gadgets:
Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues… Starting August 16, 2013, if you have concerns about any of your USB power adapters, you can drop them off at an Apple Retail Store or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. We will ensure that these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
You will need to bring your iOS device and adapter with you to get a special price on a new Apple USB power adapter. The program remains active until October 18, 2013.
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