Pay attention to which power bank you use: it could infect your phone

smartphone power bank malware

If up to a few years they could be an accessory poco widespread, to date almost everyone has one Powerbank in home. Not yet being able to rely on smartphones whose longevity exceeds 1/2 days, having a pocket battery (or less) at hand can prove useful, if not essential. But like any technological device, even a simple powerbank can hide a pitfall like a malware.

The alarm goes off in China: use only power banks you are sure of or risk malware

The alarm was raised by the Cybersecurity Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security in China, with a WeChat message sent to the population last December. When you could still travel normally, you may have noticed that in some tourist places there is a service of powerbank rental. If you are with the smartphone battery on the ground, you can pay a small amount to book it for a period of time sufficient to regain a minimum of autonomy. Perhaps in Europe it is not a very widespread practice, but in the most technological China it is quite frequent that it happens. Shopping centers, airports, amusement parks: all places where you don't have a power socket available and where a rented power bank can be very useful.

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And this is precisely where the catch lies. Once you get hold of a vulnerable power bank, a hacker can inject malware into us to attack the unfortunate who will use it. Imagine the impact such an attack could have on a public place frequented by thousands if not millions of people within a few days. As Riccardo Spolaor, professor at the Shandong University School of Computer Science and Technology states, such attacks require a certain amount of inattention and / or inexperience. By connecting an infected power bank to the smartphone, an authorization request is sent to access the smartphone. A careless user or poco shrewd could confirm this and at that point would offer the side of the malware attack.

It is certainly not a widespread problem on a large scale, but it is still an eventuality that should not be taken lightly. Also because in China it happens that users receive unsorted power bank deliveries. And what might seem like an involuntary giveaway from some careless salesman turns out to be a targeted attack.

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