Most of the hacking incidents and security vulnerabilities we frequently see published happen remotely, often through malware that has been installed without the user’s knowledge. Local Privilege Escalations or LPEs are often rarer because they have physical access to a target computer or device. However, there is a really specific class of security attacks that involve a little touch bit of both, like within the case of an innocent-looking USB cable that will let a hacker see everything you type on a keyboard connected to it.
USB cables are a dime a dozen, especially those attempting to offer less expensive alternatives to Apple’s first-party accessories. One such example may be a USB-C to Lightning cable which will be wont to connect an Apple Magic Keyboard to a Mac or another computer. You might, however, be unwittingly buying a cable that will let hackers see anything you type through it.
That’s the rather frightening situation that the OMG Cable developed by security researcher MG tries to present. It does its work by creating a Wi-Fi hotspot that a hacker can hook up with to record keystrokes browsing the cable and doubtless other pieces of knowledge also. This isn’t the primary keylogging cable that MG developed, but it’s the primary to use USB-C.
The OMG Cable was developed partly as a response to claims that the USB-C connector’s small size made it safe from having such implants, something the MG has now debunked. The new cable even adds new features, like geofencing, to show on the implant when entering a specific area. Geofencing also goes hand in hand with an older self-destruct mechanism which will now be triggered when the cable leaves a specific scope of engagement.
Worrying because it might sound, you’re probably unlikely to encounter the OMG Cable from respected third-party brands. It’s also a touch of excellent luck that the pandemic and global chip shortage has made it harder and costlier to manufacture hacking cables like this. However, it’s still a simple idea to remain far away from cheap knockoffs.