Beware! Some fast chargers have become risky to use and can expose your devices to many threats / Digital Information World

It has come into the notice of Tencent, a Chinese tech giant that our electronic devices are at risk due to many different reasons other than viruses. For example, our devices can be held at stake even when we are charging them.

When we use a USB cable to charge our device, the device and the USB cable form a connection, with the help of both the firmware to safely charge the device with the strongest power. But it has recently been discovered that if the charger is jeopardized in some way, it would allow more than the safe amount of power to be transferred into the device which could lead to the device getting ruined or catching fire.

This attack taking place can be very simple as the malware can be loaded into the device when it is connected to the charger and would then overwrite the firmware of the device. An unsafe code would be transferred into the device by the attacker. When you plug a device into the charger once again after that, it would get overloaded.

This is a very grave weakness in many fast chargers that are being sold in the market these days. This problem is called “BadPower” and Tencent stated that all the devices which have been a victim of BadPower are exposed to attacks of many ordinary sources, such as smartphones and laptops. Tencent has made a video that would help people understand how a device can be attacked.

35 out of 234 chargers were tested and 18 of them (8 different brands) were BadPower and 11 of them were exposed to simple attacks. Interestingly enough, this risk is more in normal chargers than the fast chargers and it is advised to not use 5V devices with fast chargers that have a USB to USB type C cable.

Tencent’s researchers informed this to China National Vulnerability Database and would also get in touch with the manufacturers. The standards for these chargers need to be revised. People should only buy their chargers from well-known and trusted brands to reduce the risk of damaging their devices. These BadPower chargers can also expose you to various online threats as well as data theft. You should be very careful when sharing the charger cables.

There are countless electronic devices found in your homes such as kitchen appliances, washing machines, toys, etc. other than computers and mobile phones. These devices require to be connected to the internet nowadays and we pay little attention to these appliances. Connecting them to the internet would also expose them to the electronic world and could result in data theft. We should be careful about these devices as well.

Read next: The UK Government Suggests That Single, Universal (Weak) Passwords for Gadgets Should Be Banned

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