Security researcher says this modified Lightning cable can hack your Mac

Fake iPhone Lightning cable will hijack your computer

Fake iPhone Lightning cable will hijack your computer

Hackers are using smartphone cables to steal data from unsuspecting users. It has taken several steps to make both hardware and software of its devices secure.

A simple charging cable that you often use to connect your iPhone or Android smartphone with a Mac or Windows machine could be transformed into a hacking tool and help attackers remotely access your PC, a report claims. Dubbed the O.MG cable, it works just like any iPhone data cables and looks nearly identical to the official Lightning cable. A hacker who goes by pseudonym MG claims to have developed a Wi-Fi assembly implant to make a Lightning cable capable of hacking computers. The security researcher says that he can implant the component in any USB cable but "Apple just happens to be the most hard to implant, so it was a good proof of capabilities".

The cables are so convincing that not even your computer will notice something is amiss when it's connected.

Interestingly, "O.MG" cables also have a tool that kills the USB implant, thus effacing any evidence of any tampered USB device being connected to the computer.

MG is teaming up with the Hak5, a company that sells pentest devices, to produce these cables as a legitimate security tool.

While MG focussed the hack vector on Apple's proprietary cable, he told TechCrunch that was because it's the trickiest to hack and that the same technique would work on other USB cables. "Until I, as an attacker, wirelessly take control of the cable", Grover said. "In the end, I was able to create 100 percent of the implant in my kitchen and then integrate it into a cable". He then types the IP address of the modified cable on his phone's browser, and is then presented with a list of hacking options. And these prototypes at Def con were mostly done the same way.

The cable takes advantage of a flaw in the computer's operating system that detects the cable as part of an input device, or what's known as a human interface device (HID). "It's like being able to sit at the keyboard and mouse of the victim but without actually being there", said MG to the news website. A stronger antenna can be used to reach further. "Apple cables are simply the most hard to do this to, so if I can successfully implant one of these, then I can usually do it to other cables", said MG.