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The Dangers of Purchasing Third-Party Computer Accessories

Think all computer accessories and cables are safe? Think again! Learn how your next accessory purchase could expose your organization to hackers and threats.  

Changing Cables

Buying third-party accessories for computing devices can save money, but what if those purchases ended up being the cause of a cybersecurity attack and the exposure of your company’s sensitive data? New third-party charging cables that have come on the market could be your next data breach culprit if you’re not careful. According to a blog post written by NewQuest IT Solutions, modified versions of Apple’s Lightning cables could be used to gain unauthorized access to your organization’s devices. A hacker can use the wireless implant embedded in the cable to commit an intrusion simply by typing in the cable’s IP address.

How It Works

Since the third-party cable cannot be identified as counterfeit with the naked eye, it is easy for many to be fooled into believing it is legitimate. When you plug in the cable to charge or sync a device, a hacker can now access all the information on that device. The wireless implant inside the cable sends out signals equivalent to a Wi-Fi hotspot. By typing in the cable’s IP address, the hacker is able to pull up data from the device, install malware, send scripts and other commands. The hacker can accomplish all of this as long as he or she is within 300 ft of the cable’s wireless signal.

Devices at Risk

Any device that uses a third-party charging cable or accessory is at risk. That risk increases if multiple third-party accessories are plugged in or the supplier of the accessories could be considered suspect. Although the example highlighted by NewQuest IT Solutions is applicable to Apple devices, there are enough third-party cables and accessories for Windows-based devices that can make them far from risk-adverse. Smartphones, computers, tablets and older devices like the iPod that sync are all vulnerable.

What to Look For

To avoid buying counterfeit accessories and cables, double-check the packaging, the accessory and the supplier. Only purchase third-party accessories that are labeled as certified. Another way to avoid a potential cybersecurity threat is to only purchase from trusted and verified suppliers. Finally, consider switching to OEM versions whenever possible. Although the initial or per unit cost might be higher, it could save you and your organization a more expensive headache in the long run.

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Elizabeth Mitrani
Elizabeth Mitrani
17:23 06 Aug 19
Palindrome Consulting was key in establishing my business and helps me keep it running. They are the consummate... professionals, incredibly knowledgeable and are always available to help. They have gone above and beyond to ensure that I was up and running quickly and that any issues that may arise on my end or dealt with immediately. I highly recommend Palindrome Consulting.read more
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Palindrome Consulting is customer centric. For Palindrome Data Safety is paramount; they keep their and our systems... updated with the newest technologies and are not shy at changing to better alternatives. Their platforms are always running and in the odd case there is an event, their technical team has an awesome response time.read more
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As a partner in Fischer & Feldman, P.A. we have utilized Palindrome Consulting as our IT experts for many years. In... addition to keeping our server up and running, they are available to consult on the everchanging cloud and web landscape. We could not function as a successful law firm without their constant care, attention and almost IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TIME.read more
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Palindrome has been my IT company for more than 15 years. We have been through four server and computer replacements... over the years all of which went smoothly. As technology has changed Palindrome has kept us current in their recommendations and are extremely responsive when we run into a software or hardware problem. We have been through hurricanes with Palindrome and felt confident they would have us up and running as quickly as possible and despite the fact we are probably a smaller client, they have treated us as one of their most important clients. I highly recommend Palindrome and have complete confidence in their capabilities and service. They have even gone the extra mile when we wanted to donate our old computers to a children's special needs school and delivered the computers, set them up and provided service for the same. Ilan Sredni is the consummate professional and has surrounded himself with top professionals and skilled technicians.read more
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Palindrome Consulting has proven itself time and time again to be the epitome of professionalism and technical... expertise. They take the time to listen to your needs and then apply their wealth of technical knowledge to create truly innovative and robust solutions. They truly deliver piece of mind.read more
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