Hackers Tap Into USB Devices, Evade All Known Security Protections
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.
"You cannot tell where the virus came from. It is almost like a magic
trick," said Nohl, whose research firm is known for uncovering major
flaws in mobile phone technology.
The finding shows that bugs in software used to run tiny electronics
components that are invisible to the average computer user can be
extremely dangerous when hackers figure out how to exploit them.
Security researchers have increasingly turned their attention to
uncovering such flaws.