It looks like a harmless Lightning cable but looks can be deceiving.
What you need to know
- A security researcher has created a modified Lightning cable that can easily hack your Mac.
- The cable is indistinguishable from a normal Lightning cable.
- Hackers can directly connect to the modified cable from 300 feet away.
A new report from Vice highlights how an ordinary-looking Lightning cable can hijack your Mac.
At the Def Con hacking conference, a security researcher named MG allegedly demonstrated how a modified Lightning cable can provide users with remote access to a Mac. Vice’s report said it’s like being able to sit at the computer of the victim.
MG typed in the IP address of the fake cable on his own phone’s browser, and was presented with a list of options, such as opening a terminal on my Mac. From here, a hacker can run all sorts of tools on the victim’s computer.
The cables are so convincing that not even your computer will notice something is amiss when it’s connected. MG said hackers can control a computer connected to one of these cables from up to 300 feet away.
“One idea is to take this malicious tool, dubbed O.MG Cable, and swap it for a target’s legitimate one,” Vice said. “MG suggests you may even give the malicious version as a gift to the target—the cables even come with some of the correct pieces of packaging holding them together.”
MG said the plan is to make these cables, which have been created by hand, a legitimate security tool, making it more of a proof-of-concept rather than an actual threat. If you’re in the market for a Lightning cable, check out our guide.