GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Your
iPhone is an easy target for a new type of hacking. All a
criminal needs is a USB cord to give them a hard line to your personal
As iPhone technology evolves, so does the
way criminals work to steal your identity. Now, they're using public phone
chargers to hack into your phone. Once they're inside, there's no telling what
they can get their hands on.
ever been desperate for a charge? So desperate that you've borrowed a charger
from a stranger at a coffee shop or restaurant? That could end up costing you
all of your personal information.
are ways for people to install apps on your iPhone, or anyone's iPhone, without
going through the app store," said Billy Lau of the Georgia Tech Information
need is that single cord that's meant to give your phone some juice.
it works: A hacker develops an app that looks legit. In this case, one that
resembles Facebook. Then they disguise a USB charger as a normal iPhone or iPad
charger but connect it to a hidden computer rather than an outlet. When you
plug in your phone in to charge it, your phone and personal information could
be at risk if you unlock it.
"If it's unlocked even for a second or less than a
second, the attack commences," said Lau. All the hackers have to do is
launch their malicious app to take remote control to see everything you do,
passwords and all. They can even make calls and eavesdrop on yours. "The
possiblity is really endless," said Lau. "It can steal your banking credentials."
The simple solution? Don't unlock your phone while it's
charging. Apple is working to prevent this. The company now warns you about
plugging into unknown USB public charging stations. An action that could nip iPhone
invaders in the USB bud.
And, if you absolutely need
to use a public charger, make sure you can see the outlet it's plugged into. If
you can't see where it's connected, don't use it.
You might also want to consider cleaning out the clutter. Delete
any apps you don't use anymore. Many of those apps could hold onto your
WFMY News 2