USB Condoms Protect Your Phone Data From Viruses |

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USB Condoms Protect Your Phone Data From Viruses

17 September 2013

With concerns about personal privacy and data security reaching an all time high, it’s not too surprising to learn that there is a condom you can use to protect your cell phone data. Maybe you didn’t even realize your phone was susceptible to dangers anytime you plug it into a public charging station, but there are risks involved and a group of developers, called Int3.cc, wants consumers to be protected.

The Int3.cc community is “trying to research and learn more about embedded device development and security,” and they warn users that “If you’re going to around plugging your phone into strange USB ports, at least be safe about it ;) .”

In response to the dangers presented by unfamiliar USB ports, Int3.cc created the protective USB condom, a sleeve-like device designed to sit directly over any USB charger you want to plug your device into. The condom prevents the USB from having access to the data-transferring pins that put your information at risk, while still allowing the phone battery to charge.

So what kind of attacks does the USB condom protect your device against? Well, as phone charging stations appear more frequently in public spaces like airports or unfamiliar settings like conference centers, consumers are plugging their devices into USB ports that the are potentially unsafe. There is a growing possibility that charging stations will either transfer malware and viruses to your phone or even syphon off personal information.

Obviously you don’t want your phone to contract any harmful software, but personal privacy is perhaps a greater risk. In most cases, if devices access and steal personal information through charging stations, there’s no evidence of the crime left behind, so you’ll never suspect a thing.

In extreme cases, hackers can even download a vicious app to a your phone that allows the group to control the smartphone remotely. For example, the Mactans hacker demonstration proved that external parties could attain control of your device if you plug it into a fake charger without protection in a process being called “juice jacking”.

 

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