This is how hackers do to set fire to smartphones through the charger

When it comes to relatively harmless accessories, the smartphone charger is one of them.

However, a recent investigation by Xuanwu Labs, a Chinese security company, revealed the existence of a method to hack a fast-charging power adapter, so that connecting the phone to it causes a meltdown of the same. or start a fire.

The team of researchers identified the hacking method as BadPower, which is intended to manipulate the firmware implanted within the fast-loading adapters.

Usually when the phone is connected to the charger, a communication is established between the two in order to determine the right amount of energy that the device can receive during the charging process, which will be more accelerated as the flow of energy sent by the charger is larger.

However, the Xuanwu Labs team was able to verify that, when the firmware was hacked, it allowed hackers to take control of the power supply block to send the phone more energy than indicated, thereby overheating it, melting its internal components and even power on the device completely.

Subsequently, the Xuanwu Labs team applied the method BadPower in 35 chargers of different powers. In the end they discovered that 18 of these chargers made by 8 different vendors were vulnerable to the attack.

Fortunately, the person is required to have physical access to the charger in order to apply this technique, which can be overridden simply by keeping the charger firmware updated.

However, after a chip evaluation of 34 chargers, Xuanwu Labs discovered that 18 of them did not have an update for their firmware, thereby increasing their vulnerability to the BadPower.

In this regard, Xuanwu Labs proceeded to contact the manufacturers of the vulnerable chargers in order to provide them with advice that would allow them to protect themselves against BadPower attacks in the future.

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