Almost one year ago, the EU commission forwarded a legislation to establish a common charging solution for all relevant devices in their work against electronic-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices.
With such a proposal for a revised Radio Equipment Directive, the charging port and fast charging technology will be harmonized as USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld videogame consoles.
This will allow consumers to charge their devices with the same USB-C charger, regardless of the device brand, but also prevent different producers to unjustifiably limit the charging speed and hence help to ensure that charging speed is the same when using any compatible charger for a device. Further, by unbundling the sale of a charger from the sale of the electronic device, consumers will be able to purchase a new electronic device without a new charger. This will limit the number of unwanted chargers purchased or left unused which will reducing production and disposal of new chargers. Consequently, the amount of electronic waste is estimated to reduce by almost a thousand tons yearly. Of course, a single type of connector for all your devices just makes life so much easier, and carmakers are now adopting to this by exchanging their USB ports to USB-C ports. Some new cars also offer wireless charging, even though there are many forums with fun reading about how their phone is too large for the tray dedicated for wireless charging. But that is another story.
However, speaking about USB-C ports becoming standard, and carmakers of today adopting it in their new cars, there was recently reported about the O.MG USB-C cable.
The so-called O.MG cable is a modified “Lightning” (USB-C) cable, made by the security researcher known as MG. Actually, this is the second version of the OMG cable as the first version was demoed at the DEF CON hacking conference in 2019.
This new version is a series of penetration testing tools from MG that come in new physical variations, including Lightning to USB-C, which include more capabilities for hackers to play with. The malicious cable is able to record everything being typed on the keyboard, including passwords, and wirelessly send that data to a hacker who could be more than a kilometer away as the cables create a Wi-Fi hotspot itself that the hacker can connect to from their own device. From here, an interface in an ordinary web browser lets the hacker start recording keystrokes. The malicious implant itself takes up around half the length of the plastic shell, MG said.
According to MG, the Type C cables allow the same sort of attacks to be carried out against computers, smartphones and tablets. Various other improvements include being able to change keyboard mappings, the ability to forge the identity of specific USB devices, such as pretending to be a device that leverages a particular vulnerability on a system.
So, here’s a project! What can you do to a car with this type of cable?
Got to say. Back in the days whenever you wanted to connect an electronic device to whatever. Like a TV to a VCR, or a TI-82 to the projector, or a 3.5 mm to the stereo jack/rack, it was never about the cable. It was about the connector.
Other worth reading automotive related cybersecurity news.
- Yet another Tesla has been unlocked through sophisticated relay attack. This time it was a Tesla Model Y that Josep Pi Rodriguez, principal security consultant for IOActive, managed to unlock and drive away through an NFC relay attack. Link.
- The American moving and storage giant U-Haul International recently disclosed a data breach exposing customer driver licenses. Link.
- In Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, South Staffordshire and Tamworth more than 140 vehicle crime offences have been reported since the start of July 2022, with 48 of them being thefts and attempted thefts from vans. Local law enforcement believes attackers used keyless relay devices to access the vehicles and are reminding drivers of keyless cars and vans to ensure their vehicles are kept secure at all times. Link.
Written by Joakim Rosell