Many of us are already aware that to plug the unknown USB devices to our computers can put them at risk. There is a chance that a malicious program hidden in these USB flash drives can give hacker access the perusal data inside your computer.
However, now the flash drives are not the only thing that can put a computer at risk. A society researcher by the name Mike Grover recently showed as to how even the USB cables like that of Lightning Cable of Apple nice be used for hacking the computer.
Mike Grover works for the company named Verizon Media as their security researcher and goes by the name MG online. He developed a Lightning Cable by modifying it that can now hack a computer. These cables have been named by Mike as O.MG. Cables and they have been sold to a few people that attended the security conference at Def Con. MG is now working with an online store for security products that go by the name Hak5 to sell his version of Lightning Cables for as much as 1000 dollars.
According to MG, these Lightning Cables works similarly like the ones that come with the iPhone. But what MG did was to install a small piece of hardware and then software inside the USB connector. He also added in a wireless access point in this piece of hardware. After the user plugs in the cable to a computer, the hacking tool can be started remotely in an attempt to do the following.
- Steal the login and passwords of a user
- Installing malicious software
You can watch the video of the working of the O.MG Lightning Cable down below.
MG said that cables like his have been in existence for a very long time. They have a lot of capabilities and a lot of surfaces to attack and is not something new. NSA also created one such cable too that they named as “COTTONMOUTH”. The cable could be plugged in a person’s computer to send the software wirelessly.
But for MG, he did not have resources like NSA and made his cable in his home. He took a simple Lightning Cable and modified it with minute circuit boards. As for these circuit boards, he cut them by himself from another smaller piece of the circuit board of a machine.
As for the software that runs on this cable, he created it with a close team of collaborators. MG says, “it does not require state-level resources to make this anymore.”
As for other things that MG created for hacking in the past include his modified Apple USB-C laptop charger to hack a computer. Or his USB Thumb Driver that after installing malicious software, literally explodes.
Finally, for the reason, he chose the Apple Lightning cable out of so many USB-A connectors was because it had the hardest interface of them all due to their tiny size. He thought that if he was able to modify this cable, then he can modify other cables easily as well.
MG is only planning to sell these Lighting Cables to other security researchers like him and after proper documentation.