Security Stop Press : Wireless Chargers Phone Hack & Fry Threat

Researchers from the University of Florida have reported how VoltSchemer, a set of attacks that exploit two commonly found features in commercial-off-the-shelf wireless chargers (COTS), can give attackers control over a phone then enable man-in-the middle attacks.

VoltSchemer attacks work by exploiting voltage noises from the power supply (electromagnetic interference) to manipulate wireless chargers without the need for any malicious modifications to the chargers themselves. The researchers were able to show how such attacks were successful on 9 top-selling wireless chargers and can also alter chargers to overheat and ‘fry’ phones.

Since these attacks rely on setting up a malicious power source in a specific location, the advice is to use your own personal charging port (e.g. the one at home) or your own portable charger/plug where possible.