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Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns

31
Jul
2014

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) – USB devices such as mice, keyboards and thumb-drives can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday. Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin’s SR Labs, noted that hackers could load malicious software onto tiny, low-cost computer chips that control functions of USB devices but which have no built-in shields against tampering with their code. It is almost like a magic trick,” said Nohl, whose research firm is known for uncovering major flaws in mobile phone technology. Nohl said his firm has performed attacks by writing malicious code onto USB control chips used in thumb drives and smartphones.

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