Every year, cybercriminals redouble their efforts to make life difficult for us. Recently, security researchers at Xuanwu Lab , a subsidiary of Tencent, discovered a whole new type of attack that could prove extremely dangerous, Called “ BadPower ”, this would allow devices connected to a fast charger to be burned or melted at a distance.
This new type of attack is not only silent, but also fast. The hacking process would take just a few seconds after connecting the attack platform to the fast charger.
Cybercriminals infiltrate the firmware of fast chargers
First of all, remember that a fast charger works with firmware to modify the battery management and fast charging parameters. It provides 5 Volts standard when the device does not support the fast charge function. But otherwise, it can provide up to more than 20 Volts.
According to the researchers at Xuanwu Lab, BadPower would infiltrate the firmware of the fast charger so that it provides too much power for the connected device. In this way, the components of the receiver heat up and risk melting or burning. In the worst case, the attack could therefore lead to a fire.
This new technique is particularly worrying. She would be both quick and quiet. In addition, the cybercriminal would not even need to use special equipment on some models of fast chargers.
A tested technique
Researchers at the Tencent subsidiary took the time to verify whether the new type of attack was feasible. Out of 35 different fast chargers (15% of models available on the market), 18 of them were found to be vulnerable to BadPower. However, the extent of the damage would depend on the type of magazine.
Fortunately, the Xuanwu Lab announces that updating the firmware of fast chargers is enough to resolve most vulnerabilities in BadPower. However, it also warns that several vendors have not equipped their fast chargers with an option to update their firmware.
Either way, the affected fast charger manufacturers would have already been made aware of this new threat. That way, they can make the right arrangements for the future.