On Your Side Alert: Hackers target iPhone Charger - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

On Your Side Alert: Hackers target iPhone Charger

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If you have a smartphone, you may not think about your charger being vulnerable, but tech experts say your power source could give criminals easy access to your device.

Recently, a group of researchers at Georgia Tech found a way to hack an iPhone charger. Cyber experts say the device used was a simple computer called a Beagle Board. For about $45, it turns your charger into a hacker connection.

Erin Mitten, with Cell Phone Technicians in Richmond says the up side, is that the problem was found by student researchers -- not criminals. "They were just trying to see if they could do it and they did. So kudos to them that there were able to break into an Apple iPhone, which are known to be super secure," Mitten says.

Apple immediately corrected the vulnerability and Mitten says iPhone users shouldn't worry. The vulnerability did show that through the charger, hackers could make fake social media postings, take screen shots of phones, send text messages and make phone calls.

Cyber experts say while this is no longer a threat for Apple phone users, other smart phone users should be on alert. "I believe we are just really scratching the surface of what can be done to cell phones and the smarter cell phones become, the more we are going to see this happen," Mitten says.

Although it's fixed, the breach should serve as a reminder about the information you store in your phone. "For your personal security, don't put your personal information on your cell phone to the degree that you have credit card numbers stored in your contact list," Mitten explains. He says as a precaution, never use a stranger's charger.

Helpful links:

http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=2548

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57587482-37/iphones-can-apparently-be-hacked-with-malicious-charger/

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