The specialists of the Chinese cybersecurity laboratory of Tencent launched an alert about a new computer virus, which does not steal your data or hijack your operating system, but whose characteristics are devastating to cell phones to the point of burning them.
This computer virus, baptized as BadPower, It was designed to alter the operation of fast charging systems in cell phones that currently can provide at least 20V and 100W of power.
This technology is characterized by reduce time that an electronic device, such as a mobile phone or laptop, requires to fully charge the battery. Today’s more advanced systems can complete charging in less than half an hour.
For it to work, the system is integrated both in the device to be loaded and in the one that is plugged into the current, specifically, in the firmware, and some solutions are also capable of transferring data, in addition to charging.
An attacker could use these problems to rewrite the firmware of the fast charge device to control the behavior of the device power supply.
clarified from Tencent.
The Tencent researchers point out that not all manufacturers verify the effective security of this data transmission process, which can lead to a problem in the verification process or memory corruption in the implementation of the fast charge protocol.
In this sense, a charging device infected with BadPower can alter charging voltage, until producing “excessively high voltage” that ends causing the failure of the mobile and even ends up burning internal components. However, it does not affect the privacy of user data.