Vapor-based electronic cigarettes have become a ubiquitous item for people trying to quit, those who want to smoke indoors, and consumers simply hunting for what they believe to be a safer alternative. While the jury is still out on whether or not e-cigs are harmful to the body, they might be harmful to your computer.
The Guardian has reported that e-cigarettes that use a USB-port to charge might contain malware, citing the experience of a user on Reddit:
One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined. After all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities.
Those possibilities included an e-cig that the executive would charge on his laptop:
The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.
According to security consultant Rik Ferguson, the Redditor’s story is plausible. He told the paper that “production line malware has been around for a few years, infecting photo frames, MP3 players and more.”
(Photo: Jonny Williams)