The Chinese security company revealed a hacking method, and they are calling it “Bad Power,” using which, devices can be destroyed when they are plugged into the hacked fast chargers. “It just not destroys the device but is a significant security vulnerability as well.”
Fast chargers function through a built-in microprocessor and firmware. They are equipped with both as they communicate with the device to get the right amount of power.
There has not been a single case for such hack; however, the concern came up when Tencent Security Labs found a way to overwrite the firmware through the USB port. They added; eighteen out of thirty-five fast charger models could be easily overwritten.
Bad Power hack on a fast charger sends high voltage current and device being charged from it gets destroyed. It can even set your smartphone, tablet, or any other fast chargeable device on fire. The Tencent security team experimented and the concerns were found to be true.
A fast charger was first overwritten with the said exploit, then was plugged into a fast chargeable device and it caught fire after getting overheated.
Here are some steps from the Tencent Security Company to address the possible exploit:
- Not to use chargers out of your close circle.
- Always buy a reliable, fast charger through a trusted dealer.
- The security company reached out to the fast charger manufacturers to fix the bug.
- Cases of burnt devices haven’t shown up till now; however, it is a significant risk identified.