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Plugging in an Unknown Thunderbolt or USB-C Device is Electronic Unprotected Sex: the “Thunderclap” Vulnerability

I wonder if Apple can even address this issue?

Basically, NEVER plug in a device that is not your own. The “social engineering” required to compromise a computer is surely in use by national security agencies to compromise targets, but it could become fairly common if the risks are not plugged.

Consider the juicy prize of compromising a public library or airport kiosk, etc with a compromised USB-C charger. Dang. NEVER charge at a public charging station with a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C charger suplied there. Bring your own power adapter and use that. (For similar reasons, I never use public WiFi but instead use my own personal WiFi hotspot via USB cable to my phone).

Hope that Chinese parts in your Thunderbolt 3 peripherals are all free of secret hardware compromises (impossible to know of course). With whole Huaweii fiasco, this idea is far from farfetched. I wonder if Thunderbolt 3 product vendors should be doing security audits of the chips they use?


Modern computers are vulnerable to malicious peripheral devices

These vulnerabilities allow an attacker with physical access to a Thunderbolt port to compromise a target machine in a matter of seconds, running arbitrary code at the highest privilege level and potentially gaining access to passwords, banking logins, encryption keys, private files, browsing and other data. Attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities can also be carried out by seemingly innocuous peripherals like chargers and projectors that correctly charge or project video but simultaneously compromise the host machine.


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