I’m talking about malware lurking on your Lightning cable. This isn’t just crazy-assed theory about how cables can be infected with malware. They’re manufacturing malware cables so your iPhone or iPad can get hacked.
What happens if your out and about with friends or at work or somewhere and your iPhone’s battery runs low? What do you do? You borrow a cable from someone, anyone, and plug it in to get recharged.
Bad news. Michael Grothaus:
There’s a scary new reason not to borrow a stranger’s iPhone cable
Did I mention malware? On the cable?
As always, there’s good news and bad news. In this case, it’s bad news and worse news.
Bad news: A hacker has created a rogue Lightning cable that lets bad guys take over your computer. Worse news: Now it’s being mass-produced.
I have my fair share of Lightning and USB cables. Each new iPhone comes with a new cable, but I keep one extra at work, one in the car, and three or four lying around at home. Oh, and one in my backpack. With an extra battery charger.
But even though every Apple gadget that requires a Lightning cable comes with one, many of us lose them, replace them, or buy extras.
That’s the norm. Whether it’s Mac, iPhone, or iPad, most of us have extra USB and Lightning cables.
I’m one of the careful techies so I take a few extra seconds to plug cables into each device carefully, and triple that effort when removing cables. To date, I’ve lost more cables than I’ve damaged, and those that were damaged had fallen onto the floor and got run over by my fat-ass in a chair instead of getting strained or stresses or frazzles from pulling it out.
Why do we need to be careful about cables now?
A hacker has created the first Lightning cable that, when plugged into your Mac or PC, will allow someone to remotely take over your computer. Worse, this hacked Lightning cable, called the O.MG Cable, isn’t a bespoke one-off. It’s being mass-produced in factories so anyone can buy and use them to target your data.
Hey, if elections can be rigged and the course of a country changed, then it must be child’s play to hack a cable so it can hack your Mac or iPhone.
Just how bad is this latest vulnerability-cum-exploit?
The O.MG Cable also contains a built-in wireless hotspot. This allows attackers to remotely run commands on the Mac or Windows PC the cable is plugged into, which allows them to do, well, pretty much whatever they want—including reading or even deleting your data
The good news is that Apple will be happy to sell you an unhacked cable for triple the price of Amazon Basics or Anker– two other somewhat trusted cable brands– but this news makes it easier to pay the piper for Apple’s MFi Program. Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod; think of it as a certification program that works until someone fakes the MFi logo and sells them anyway.
It’s a jungle out there. Now we need Face ID for our cables.