It was almost two months ago when researchers found a vulnerability affecting Apple devices when connected to a ‘modified’ charger. The vulnerability exists because it turns out that iOS devices do not inform its users whether the iPhone or iPad is connected to a standalone charger or a computer. Modified chargers can pose a security risk to unwitting iOS users if the said malicious device exists in a public charging station. According to the researchers, these chargers can be utilized by malicious users to gain access to your online accounts residing on your iOS device. In addition to this, the worst thing that can happen is that your iOS device can be used by hackers as a spying tool.
The problems associated with a compromised iOS device via these chargers were proven to exist in the real world by a team of researchers. In a hacking conference that was held a few days ago, an iPhone was successfully hacked by a custom-built charger equipped with a small Linux computer. The computer that was put into the charger was designed to attack iOS devices that cost only $45 with an availability of only one week if you intend to build one for yourself.
To fix the issue, Apple has integrated an alert mechanism that will notify its users if a particular iOS device is connected to a standalone charger or computer. The said feature will be included in the next release of iOS 7 in the coming months. It is not clear though if non-iOS 7 devices were also entitled to receive the same patch to fix the problem. As of now I highly advise to use portable batteries (battery pack, power bank, etc.) to avoid being dependent on public charging stations.
On the other hand, Android devices already has this notification feature and was found to be unaffected by the said vulnerability.
To be safe and avoid the problems of being hacked, we should always keep ourselves updated with the latest news about vulnerability that may exist in the gadgets that we have. Have a nice weekend!