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    Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

    This is a discussion on Now e-cigarettes can give you malware within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; Now e-cigarettes can give you malware | Technology | The Guardian Better for your lungs, worse for your hard drives, ...

    1. #1
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      Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Now e-cigarettes can give you malware | Technology | The Guardian
      Better for your lungs, worse for your hard drives, e-cigarettes can potentially infect a computer if plugged in to charge

      E-cigarettes
      may be better for your health than normal ones, but spare a thought for your poor computer – electronic cigarettes have become the latest vector for malicious software, according to online reports.

      Many e-cigarettes can be charged over USB, either with a special cable, or by plugging the cigarette itself directly into a USB port. That might be a USB port plugged into a wall socket or the port on a computer – but, if so, that means that a cheap e-cigarette from an untrustworthy supplier gains physical access to a device.

      A report on social news site Reddit suggests that at least one “vaper” has suffered the downside of trusting their cigarette manufacturer. “One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined,” the user writes. “After all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities.

      “The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.”

      Rik Ferguson, a security consultant for Trend Micro, says the story is entirely plausible. “Production line malware has been around for a few years, infecting photo frames, MP3 players and more,” he says. In 2008, for instance, a photo frame produced by Samsung shipped with malware on the product’s install disc.

      Even more concerning is a recent proof-of-concept attack called “BadUSB”, which involves reprogramming USB devices at the hardware level. “Very widely spread USB controller chips, including those in thumb drives, have no protection from such reprogramming,” says Berlin-based firm SRLabs, which released the code.

      Combine the two, says Ferguson, “and a very strong case can be made for enterprises disabling USB ports, or at least using device management to allow only authorised devices.

      “For consumers it’s a case of running up-to-date anti-malware for the production line stuff and only using trusted devices to counter the threat.”

      Dave Goss, of London’s Vape Emporium, says that vapers can remain safe by buying from respected manufacturers such as Aspire, KangerTech and Innokin, and by checking for “scratch checkers” on the box, which mark out authentic goods from counterfeits.

      “Any electrical device that uses a USB charger could be targeted in this way, and just about every one of these electrical devices will come from China,” he adds.

      In early November, figures obtained by the Press Association revealed that e-cigarettes and related equipment, such as chargers, were involved in more than 100 fires in less than two years.


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    3. #2
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      sdd
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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Easy way round that is Don't charge it through your computer get yourself a usb plug that goes in the wall socket

      I really think this is just scaremongering its all you here now this virus is attacking your computer that malware is doing this we know it happened but not on the scale they are saying

      Like yesterday we had the paid android app are being infected by malware

      Its a joke if you put much more protection on your computer and phone they will grind to a halt

      There 3 people in my house all using the internet at the same sametime for about 12hrs a day ( don't watch a lot of tv ) and in all the years we have had computers we have not had one bad virus we had a small one once but the virus protector got rid of it so like i say scaremongering.


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    4. #3
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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Safety on the Internet is important.

      You wouldn't leave the windows of your car down, the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition whilst you park it up on central London as you'd be pretty sure that it won't be there when you return. At the same time you wouldn't knowingly walk around with money falling out of your pockets whilst you are in any town centre on a Saturday morning.

      People need to be careful and take suitable precautions when using the Internet. Many are unaware or unwilling to take responsibility and ensure that they are safe.

      This article goes to show that it isn't just what we download from the Internet which we need to consider, but also other devices which might otherwise appear to be safe.

      Now that many products, not just mobile phones, can easily be charged up via a USB port. Any of these could be connected to a laptop whilst you are away and any one of them could contain something untoward. This laptop I am using has 4 USB ports so I could charge my phone, a camera, headphones and battery pack.

      Of course I wouldn't expect a reputable firm to distribute something nasty, but there are always fakes to be wary off.

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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Best of all use a USB charge only cable, No data - No problem.
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    6. #5
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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Yes I agree it would be better. After all there are various items you can purchase which can be taken with you that have multiple USB ports, but some people don't have the time to plan ahead for items like that.

      I'm sure that we could all list a number of excuses that people will make.

      The potential danger is that someone will plug a dodgy e-Cigarette into their work computer or laptop to be charged up. Too late!

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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Disable autostart. This solves the problem every time.
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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      As the above post says auto-start should be disabled.

      Work computers should have this disabled already if the IT dept has a clue what they are doing.

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Yes I agree it would be better. After all there are various items you can purchase which can be taken with you that have multiple USB ports, but some people don't have the time to plan ahead for items like that.

      I'm sure that we could all list a number of excuses that people will make.

      The potential danger is that someone will plug a dodgy e-Cigarette into their work computer or laptop to be charged up. Too late!

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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Saw a bit on the cybercrime program BBC are running at the moment. A firm dropped a number of infected USB sticks around some car parks. They discovered that 90% of them were picked up and plugged into Government PCs. USA of course.

      Its an interesting series if you haven't caught it yet - BBC - BBC World News commissions major new Cybercrime series - Media centre
      Scubbie likes this.

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      Re: Now e-cigarettes can give you malware

      Mine just gives me Nicotine and tasty flavours, mmmmm butterscotch is so nice.

     

     

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