Aug.4, 2013

A team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology demonstrated how they were able to hack into an iPhone or an iPad within minutes at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas.

Researchers Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song demonstrated a 3D printed charger 'Mactans' which looks similar to a usual Apple charger. Researchers had packed a micro-computer which uses open source BeagleBoard running Linux software inside the white box made on a 3D printer.

Mactans can mimic an Apple iPhone charger and install malicious software. / Bryce Urbany

They used Facebook app as an example to show the vulnerability of device running the current version of iOS. When a user connects iPhone/iPad with Mactans and inputs PIN code, the charger replaces the Facebook app with malware called Trojan, in exactly the same position on the iPhone/iPad. Then when the unsuspecting victim launches the malware, user's every move will be monitored. It could capture passwords, take screenshots, access contacts, messages and phone calls or even use the account for online shopping.

According to Lau, any app on a iPhone can be replaced in a similar manner. The attack works on all current versions of iOS, except for the iOS 7 beta version which is still under development.

The trio have notified Apple this security vulnerabilities, and Apple has issued a response saying they are thankful to the researchers for the input and they will fix the vulnerability in the latest beta version of the operating system iOS 7.

The team pointed out that their charger was built with small budget and limited time, and warned well-funded adversaries could do much more damage with their system.


Source: CBS news


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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