The majority of electronic cigarettes are charged via the help of a USB cable that is connected to the wall socket or the USB port on a computer. While charging them via a wall socket aren’t putting the electrical power supply in your home at risk, charging e-cigarettes by connecting the device computers will allow the electronic cigarette connection to the PC, possibly placing the computer in danger.
E-cigarettes are growing in popularity as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. While users’ lungs could be benefiting from the devices, the computer might be the one being exposed to risk.
Recent reports on the internet suggest that e-cigarettes are a new way to spread malware, which suggests that hackers are making use of the growing popularity and use of these devices.
A report has surfaced on Reddit which claims that at least one person who uses e-cigarettes has been stung for taking this risk.
According to one Reddit user the executive’s computer infected by malware however the source of the virus was not determined. The IT department at the company discovered that the malware could not infiltrate the computer using the usual methods, but instead it could have entered the computer via an electronic cigarette.
“The produced in China electronic cigarettes had malware embedded in the charger, and when connected to the computer’s USB port, the malware called at home, and then infected the system” user on Reddit member wrote.
Trend Micro security consultant Rik Ferguson has said that the report published on Reddit is entirely plausible.
Ferguson claimed that malware that has been found within the production range of devices has been present for many years and affected devices include MP3 player as well as frame-like digital pictures. An example of this incident was in 2008 when Samsung supplied digital picture frames with malware inside the device’s installation CD.
Another recent instance on the subject is the BadUSB issue, in which USB devices are programmed at the hardware level in order to become tools used by hackers to attack computers.
Due to the issues that arise due to the use of devices that use USB ports, such as the USB ports on computers, Ferguson stated that there’s an argument for businesses to shut down the USB ports on company PCs, or at most, utilize devices management tools that enable the only devices that are authorized to be connected to computers.
For the general public, Ferguson said that to be safe, anti-malware applications must be installed on a regular basis and maintained and only devices that are trusted are required to be connected to computers.