Quitting smoking is a good thing, but replacing it with a vape or e-cigarette can be a bad idea.
E-cigarettes and vapes will probably be banned in workplaces with the next few years. Though they are a great replacement for cigarettes, they also pose a significant threat to organizations and individuals with confidential information.
In a recent IoT convention held in BSides London, security researcher Ross Bevington highlighted how e-cigarettes could be used as a keyboard to control the computer and tamper its network traffic. Many electric cigarettes have a USB charger, and a few modification can turn them into sophisticated hacking devices. Hackers can use such technology to download malicious payloads from the web to your computer.
The connected world has enabled everything to transmit data to a single network and its good thing. But, it also provides hackers the opportunity to crack into our IoT systems. Unless every connected device is integrated with stout security solutions, cyber criminals will trigger new strategies for cybersecurity ramifications.
Cyber criminals just need to attach a small microchip in your e-cigarette to access to your computer. The chip transforms the device into a digital lockpick capable of hacking computer systems even with strong security. It enables the e-cig to work as a mouse or a keyboard, dropping the guard of the connected device. After plugging the e-cig in, it can transfer malicious codes and order your computer to download dodgy files allowing the hackers to steal your information. Hence, we should be aware of what we are putting on our USB.
However, the memory space of e-cig is not large to accommodate dangerous malware such as “The WannaCry.” The size of the virus is 4-5 MB which is 100 times bigger than the storing space of the e-cigarette. But, hackers can use the device to download malicious files from the web, much dangerous than “The WannaCry” malware itself.
Many companies across the world have prohibited the use of USB inside a workspace to prevent attacks like this. Still, there are many entities unaware of such casualties.
A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois and University of Michigan explained that more than 50% of individuals would pick and connect a flash drive dropped by a hacker. Such devices can transfer malicious files into your system. Similarly, a vape pipe or an e-cig can easily be modified to work as a peripheral device of your computer. Hence, it best to use an electrical socket to charge such devices, rather than connecting them to your appliances.