e-Cigarette from China Infected Man’s Computer with Malware

In August of this year, member adjensen, authored a thread titled: Why the security of USB
is fundamentally broken.
In it, he outlined the inherent issues with USB that allow its firmware to be re-written with malicious code, alongside
the legitimate code on the myriad of devices we use daily across the planet. Now in November, we have an infected computer in the news, that
epitomizes just such an approach…

Smoking will not only damage your health but also your computer, as e-cigarettes manufactured in China are reportedly being used to spread
malicious software through the USB connection used to charge the device.

Finally after all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities. They finally asked the executive:
‘Have there been any changes in your life recently?’ The executive answered: ‘Well yes, I quit smoking two weeks ago and switched to
e-cigarettes.’ And that was the answer they were looking for.”
The e-cigarette was found to have malware hard-coded into the charger, which “phoned home” and infected the system when plugged into the
computer’s USB port.

Many of us in the industry have been aware of flaws such as this, among others for years. But up to this point, nothing has gone “viral”, if you’ll
forgive the pun. I suspect we will be seeing more and more of this in the near future, and the implementation of new security protocols within the
computer industry, as well as corporations and governments. Protocols, that as usual, will complicate matters for the average computer user, and are
often poorly implemented throughout an industry that already needs more standardization, and less “proprietization”.
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