Thursday, June 21, 2018

Malware via USB Charging

Reuters (in 2016, via Alasdair Allan):

A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday.


As an example, Hypponen said he had recently spoken to a European aircraft maker that said it cleans the cockpits of its planes every week of malware designed for Android phones. The malware spread to the planes only because factory employees were charging their phones with the USB port in the cockpit.

Because the plane runs a different operating system, nothing would befall it. But it would pass the virus on to other devices that plugged into the charger.

Tom Lowenthal:

If you carry around a cable because you often need to charge your device, consider accessorizing with a data blocker dongle like this red cutie. You device can still charge at full speed, but there’s no data connection.

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If the plane runs a different OS, how does the malware spread? Does it live in the USB controller?

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