General How to Protect your device from Malicious Charger

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by maturola, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. maturola, Jul 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

    maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Hey team,

    I got a close friend of mine who got his identity stolen not long ago, and all seen to indicate that it was because the thief actually got access to his phone while he was using a public charger. (we of course have no proof of this, nothing more than some investigation we did ourselves and the fact that some "old" data that was only on the phone was being used for credit Applications).

    Anyways, after a little research I found a few Articles like these:

    Researchers Say They Can Hack Your iPhone With A Malicious Charger


    NBCNEWS: Watch out! Charging stations could be stealing your data


    Due to this and the fact that we both actually travel a lot, and use those Hotel and Airport pubic charging stations more often than not, I started looking to see if there was anything out there to protect our device and I was unable to find one.

    So I went ahead and designed one myself, it is small USB adapter (Male to Female Adapter) that Allow the devices to charge (still exercice the Data lines, so the host doesn't go into low power mode), but keep the actually data lines isolated to avoid any hacking.

    My question to you (the community) is, would it be any interest in a product like that? friend are telling i should get a kickstarter project going to get some funding to mass produce such a device. I would like to get some feedback from some of you and see what your opinion on the matter is.

    Thanks, any feedback is always welcome.
    ____________________________________________________________

    UPDATE: So after a lot of positive feedback, I went ahead and did it, I will launching the Kickstarter Campaign on August 21st. Contact me for any question, suggestions or comments.

    Official press release here: http://bit.ly/14Heb2B

    Website is also up an running: LockedUSB Adapter

    Kickstarter Rewards preview (Draft): http://lockedusb.com/kickstarter-rewards/
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    That is a great idea my friend.
    People that plug in to charge at public places like coffee shops, libraries hotels and many other places that could have their device and personal info compromised could sure benefit from something like that.
    In this day and age you should be careful and responsible with your data. Identity theft is a fast growing problem and the more we do to protect ourselves the better.
    Any idea what price range something like that could run the average iphone or idevice user?
     
  3. maturola thread starter macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Thanks buddy, I think is a good idea too, just curious to see if anyone else think the same.

    Price wise, the device should be around , $8, 9$ish...for small quantities. If there is a lot of interest and I could build several thousands, then the price should drop to $6ish... The most expensive part would be the overmolding design and initial NRE. after that initial kick in the nuts, each unit should be very affordable.

    Should also work for any USB powered device, not just iDevices, if you are like me that also got a few Androids and Windows devices around, it works with anything that plugs to a USB port.
     
  4. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
  5. tymaster50 macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    I'm gonna give you some constructive criticism.

    It wouldn't sell very well, the issue isn't mainstream enough that people are worried about it. Most use their own cords so it isn't an issue to them, and those who do buy third party cords from lesser known companies are in the minority, Sorry but I wouldn't buy one, simply because I don't have the need for one.
     
  6. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    #6
    I dont need one either, but I do think the idea is worth a study to find out just how many DO need one. Its something "I" havent seen yet, and people DO worry about security...
     
  7. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #7
    I think its a good idea,
    and despite what tymaster50 said, if it does become a mainstream issue, you are set.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    This isn't about the cords, it's about the USB port. The port could host a malicious device to pull data off of a iDevice via a person's own USB cord.
     
  9. maturola thread starter macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming.

    The idea is not to make this my living and retired early, i know this may no be a mainstream product, but if there are out there a few thousand or even a few hundres people that would like to get one, it may worth exploring the crowd funding options.

    Also, using your own cords or a third party, does not solve the issue, the USB port is the issue as Intell said, no matter what cable you are using, the Adapter actually allow to use any cable you want. I actually use the one I build to get a quick charge from my work laptop and that way, itunes doesn't ask me if i want to sync the picture on that iphone every time I plug it.
     
  10. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    But he/she can make it a mainstream issue through advertising/how they sell their product. Make people aware of the issue. Infomercials have been selling us useless stuff this way for years.
     
  11. tymaster50 macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    Ah ok, my next gripe is where are these charging stations? From what I gather, the average iOS user charges with their laptop or from a wall outlet in a public place.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    I've seen them at hotels, airports, large outdoor events, the Starbucks near my work has them in the tables, some of the computers labs at a local community college has them in the walls.
     
  13. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #13
    Airports.

    In Japan as common as crabgrass, even street side.

    The problem here is they have 30 pin or lightning ends, no USB plug (that I saw)
     
  14. maturola thread starter macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #14
  15. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #15
    $9 or so is pretty cheap insurance against identity theft. I'd be interested even as an infrequent traveler. And with enough publicity, I'd think you could make a successful Kickstarter project out of it.
     
  16. imlovinit macrumors 6502

    imlovinit

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #16
    I agree. $8 or $9 is pretty good deal for added piece of security. Identiy theft is such a major issue and growing every minute. Sooner or later something on this level will gain more awareness so why wait until its too late? Definitely worth pursuing and one I'd be glad to support.
     
  17. lukejc1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #17
    I think this is a good idea. As tymaster stated, it is true that most people use wall chargers right now. However, USB ports in airports, hotels, coffee shops, etc. are becoming more and more common. Soon they will be everywhere. And I think identity theft through USB will become a mainstream issue in the near future as well as the number of USB charging stations grows.

    Identity theft is a real concern of many people. If you get started now with this product you can be ahead of the curve when these issues become even more mainstream. Also, as stated, good marketing of this product can help that process along.
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    Well said.
    All a potential identity thief would need is to setup a charging station in a public place and he will have tons of people plugging in their devices to get a quick charge. Than rack up tons of data collected from random people.
    This kinda of protection will be great to have around. Keep one with you when you're out and you're good.
    And for the price mentioned above its a no brainer.

    Then
     
  19. maturola thread starter macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #19
    excited to see a positive feedback, I definitely look into putting something together and give crowd funding a shot. :)
     
  20. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #20
    you need to get out more :p


    -------
    TS I think this is a very good idea, just the price for the average consumer might not be the best, maybe consider offering them in 2 packs for $9.99. That should net you some money and increase production will reduce materials cost I would assume.

    BW I'm open to be a beta testers ha! :)
     
  21. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #21
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. It can even be called a "charger firewall" or some stuff like that. I'd definitely buy a version made out of clear plastic so it is obvious that the data lines are not going through.
     
  22. Samanosuke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #22
    Pair lock on a jailbroken iPhone does the same.
     
  23. lukejc1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #23
    Pairlock is a nice tweak but this device would work for those who are not jailbroken. Which is the vast majority of iDevices our there.

    ----------

    Hey OP be sure to keep us updated when/if you do get a kickstarter project going.
     
  24. Samanosuke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #24
    As another poster said its not an issue to most users, otherwise people would be concerned.
     
  25. imurdaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #25
    You broadcasted your idea publicly before protecting it...?
     

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