The cable in question has been created by the Chinese company RFID Research Group, baptized as USBNinja and is sweeping the campaign crowdfunding (collective financing) with what can be expected in a short time to go on sale. What is this cable and how does it operate to introduce a virus surreptitiously? The bad news is that, in appearance and externally, in the eyes of anyone it is a normal cable, but this harmless accessory becomes the moment in which it connects to the computer. Actually, the physical connection of the cable is only a preliminary step; the worst comes later.
The company says it is created as "a versatile tool with applications such as jokes, magic tricks, secret love confessions, game assistant and computer security tests". "We let the user develop their own uses," says the company. However, its ability to infect, to which the company does not refer, is the most outstanding.
USBNinja has in its interior a tiny bluetooth unit that can be activated remotely; In other words, the team is waiting for someone to give the order, at a distance, to attack. The attack can be ordered by means of a remote control included in the package or through an application in the mobile that operates in the same way. In the first case, the range is up to 100 meters, so the chances of discovering the hacker reduced. If the drive is produced by the mobile, the range is a few meters.
Once given the order, this cable, which operates for all purposes as a conventional cable loading and transmitting data, the attacker can enter malware by commands on the keyboard.
This device has again put accessories made by third parties in the disparage, a struggle in which the main manufacturers of hardware they are wrapped and do not tire of defending: they strongly recommend using only cables and chargers approved by the house.
In this sense, Apple stood in front of Amazon presenting a large demand to one of the vendors in the store on-line for commercializing cables that imitated the originals. The manufacturer of Cupertino did not hesitate to alert, through his statement, the danger of using accessories not approved by the house.
This being the case and given the growing ability of hackers, also in terms of device manufacturing, the only possible defense is to use only original accessories. "The precautionary measures go through buying devices trusted by the manufacturer. It would be an analogy to what has been recommended for years with the software original, distrusting other sources of origin ", explains to EL PAÍS Fernando Suárez, vice president of the Council of Computer Engineering Colleges.
Meanwhile, USBNinja continues to raise funds and, if nothing goes wrong, will go on sale for a price starting at $ 79 and with most models of connectors and colors available in the market.