Hackers can set your mobile phone on fire remotely... here's why you should be worried !

Hackers can set your mobile phone on fire remotely... here's why you should be worried !

Smartphone users should pay close attention now... your mobile phones can be ignited remotely. In this article we'll show you how hackers and doing this, and what you can do to prevent it.

The University of Florida is alerting smartphone owners to a new threat: Criminals can overheat smartphones remotely and even set them on fire using a specific technique. Particularly high-end phone models with Qi charging capability are affected by this vulnerability. In their study, security researchers discovered that manipulated wireless charging stations can cause smartphones to overheat unexpectedly. The attack, dubbed "VoltSchemer," exploits the communication between the Qi charger and smartphone, dangerously overloading the devices. The discovery stems from the fact that Qi charging stations require information exchange with the phone to coordinate the charging process. Since the data exchange is unencrypted, the system is vulnerable to Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

This security flaw and fire hazard exists generally with Qi chargers that operate wirelessly. In their experiments, researchers demonstrated the ability to heat smartphones to temperatures of up to 81 degrees Celsius. This poses a risk of battery damage or even spontaneous combustion. Other devices capable of charging via Qi technology are also potentially vulnerable. Even a paper clip was heated to a temperature of 280 degrees Celsius as part of the study. However, some IT security experts express doubts about the practical feasibility of such attacks and their utility for potential attackers. 

So how are hackers setting phones on fire? The researchers have discovered that chargers can be manipulated to control voice assistants using inaudible voice commands, cause damage to devices by overcharging or overheating, and circumvent Qi-standard specified foreign-object-detection mechanisms, posing a risk to valuable items exposed to intense magnetic fields. After testing multiple wireless chargers and phones, all of which exhibited vulnerabilities, the researchers have notified manufacturers. They expect that steps will be taken to rectify these issues, thereby safeguarding consumers against VoltSchemer attacks.

To prevent cyberattacks like the VoltSchemer attack, individuals should exercise caution when using wireless charging stations, particularly those from unfamiliar sources, and opt for trusted chargers from reputable manufacturers, preferably wired. By following these precautions, individuals can mitigate the risk of falling victim to wireless charging system vulnerabilities and protect their devices and personal data from potential harm.