Announcement of 07. June 2016

Manipulated e-cigarettes and USB charging stations

G DATA puts potential for risk into perspective and suggests security tips.

The media is currently awash with reports about e-cigarettes supposedly infected with malware and dangerous charging stations for smartphones at airports or in bars. The problems being illustrated are not new. A proof of concept regarding the infection of smartphones via manipulated charging stations was presented at an international security conference back in 2014. To date there has been no proof of large-scale data theft via charging stations or malware attacks via e-cigarettes.

G DATA sees far greater potential for risk in so-called Bad-USB attacks, where a USB device pretends to be a keyboard in order to circumvent antivirus solutions.

Back in 2014, G DATA developed an effective tool called USB Keyboard Guard especially for this scenario, putting a stop to attacks via manipulated USB devices. The technology is included in all G DATA security solutions. G DATA is providing worried users with tips on how they can protect their mobile devices and computers.

"In practice we have not yet observed any major infections or data thefts via bogus charging stations or manipulated e-cigarettes. USB-based attacks are used at popular locations such as airports or in targeted attacks," explains Ralf Benzmüller, head of G DATA SecurityLabs. "Preventive protection against this is easy to put in place through observance of simple advice and use of technologies such as USB Keyboard Guard."

 

Protection tips

For mobile devices:

 

  • Only use smartphones and tablets with trustworthy USB charging stations and computers.
  • Do not unlock the mobile device during the charging process.
  • Use a comprehensive security solution for smartphones and tablets that provides protection against viruses and other threats.
  • A special USB adapter (“USB Condom”) ensures that only the power for charging the device gets through and that no data leaks out.

 

For computers:

  • A comprehensive security solution with a virus scanner, firewall, spam and real-time protection is a must.
  • G DATA USB Keyboard Guard prevents attacks by manipulated USB devices. The technology is included in all G DATA security solutions and is also available as a free tool.
  • Updates should be used to ensure that the operating system and installed software are always fully up-to-date.

Media:

Announcement of 07. June 2016

G DATA Software AG
G DATA Campus
Königsallee 178
D-44799 Bochum

Phone: +49 234 9762-239
E-Mail: presse@remove-this.gdata.de

Kathrin Beckert-Plewka
Public Relations Manager

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Kathrin Beckert-Plewka

Phone: +49 234 9762-507
kathrin.beckert@remove-this.gdata.de

Vera Haake
Spokesperson for event & location communication

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Vera Haake

Phone: +49 234 9762-376
vera.haake@remove-this.gdata.de

Stefan Karpenstein
Public Relations Manager

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Stefan Karpenstein

Phone: +49 234 9762 - 517
stefan.karpenstein@remove-this.gdata.de