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Why You Should Never Borrow Someone Else’s Charging Cable

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Protect your charging cables like you protect your passwords, say cybersecurity experts.
We’ve all been there. Your smartphone or tablet is low on power and you’ve left your charging cable at home. There’s no harm in borrowing one from a fellow passenger in the airport departure lounge or from your hotel’s front desk clerk, right?
In 2019, that would be a huge mistake, say cybersecurity experts.
“There are certain things in life that you just don’t borrow,” says Charles Henderson, Global Managing Partner and Head of X-Force Red at IBM Security. “If you were on a trip and realized you forgot to pack underwear, you wouldn’t ask all your co-travelers if you could borrow their underwear. You’d go to a store and buy new underwear.”Henderson runs a team of hackers that clients hire to break into their computer systems in order to expose vulnerabilities. Since cyberhackers have figured out how to implant charging cables with malware that can remotely hijack devices and computers, his team sometimes uses a trick to teach clients to be less trusting of third-party charging cables. “We might send somebody a swag iPhone cable in the mail. Maybe we have it branded as something innocuous, like a vendor or a partner that they have listed on their website. We send off the cable and see if the person plugs it in,” he says.
Last week, at the annual DEF CON Hacking Conference in Las Vegas — “ summer camp,” says Henderson — a who goes by “MG” demonstrated an iPhone lightning cable that he had modified. After using the cable to connect an iPod to a Mac computer, MG remotely accessed the cable’s IP address and took control of the Mac, as Vice reported in play-by-play fashion. MG noted that he could later remotely “kill” the implanted malware and wipe out all evidence of its existence. The enterprising had a stash of so-called O.MG cables that he was selling for $200 apiece.
Malicious charging cables aren’t a widespread threat at this time, says Henderson, “Mainly because this kind of attack doesn’t scale real well, so if you saw it, it would be a very targeted attack.”
“But just because we haven’t yet seen a widespread attack doesn’t mean we won’t see it, because it certainly does work,” says Henderson. “The is really small and really cheap. It can get so small that it looks like an ordinary cable but has the capability and the intelligence to plant malware on its victim. These things are only going to get cheaper to produce and it’s not something your average consumer is going to be tracking to know when it becomes viable on a mass scale.”
For the moment, Henderson says, a bigger threat than malicious charging cables is USB charging stations you see in public places like airports. “We’ve seen a couple of instances where people modified charging stations. I’m not talking about an electrical outlet, I’m talking about when there’s a USB port on a charging station.”
“Being careful about what you plug into your devices is just good tech hygiene,” says Henderson. “Think of it in the same way that you think about opening mail attachments or sharing passwords. In a computing context, sharing cables is like sharing your password, because that’s the level of access you’re crucially conveying with these types of technology.”
Many travelers know that, in a pinch, the hotel front desk will often have a drawer of charging cables that were left behind by guests.
Don’t be tempted, says Henderson. “If the front desk had a drawerful of underwear, would you wear those?”

Source : Bloomberg

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Governor Udom Emmanuel Loses Father

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has lost his Father, the Late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang.

The sad event occurred on Sunday, December 1st 2019. He was aged Ninety (90years.)

According to a family source, after due clearance from the Head of the Family, Pastor Edo Ekim ( the Father of the celebrity Nollywood actress, Ini Edo) , the first Son of the departed Patriarch, Mr. Gabriel Nkanang (Jr.) was authorized to make public the demise of the late Patriarch.

Burial arrangement according to family sources will be announced in due course.

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Border Drill: Benin Republic unrepentant — FG

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The Federal Government has accused the Republic of Benin of being recalcitrant in its importation of prohibited goods for ultimate dumping in to Nigeria’s market in spite the partial border closure order.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the accusation when he featured on a “TV Continental”, live Programme, monitored by the Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

“Regrettably, the signs out there are not positive in the sense that in the last few weeks, the amount of seizures that have been made do not show that our neighbours are in a hurry to comply with Nigeria.

“As we speak today, there are three ships heading toward Benin Republic laden with about 105,000 metric tons of rice.

“This is a country of about 12 million people. That rice is meant for ultimate consumption of Nigerians.

“In addition, Benin Republic just negotiated with Japan to receive rice worth 30 million dollars.

“It is clear that the ultimate destination of the rice will be Nigeria and that is why we are appealing to our neighbours.

“First preservation is the first law of survival, we are doing this to preserve our economy and the security of our country,” he said.

The minister who disclosed that the border drill will be in place as long as necessary, noted that Nigeria could no longer continue to play the big brother at the expense of its economy and national security.

“The facts at our disposal reveal that 10,000 vehicles are imported every month into the Cotonou seaport.

“For a population of about 12 million people to be importing 120,000 vehicles in a year means that the vehicles are going to Nigeria with sufficient market.

“As I have said, there is no gain without pain, there will be discomfort at the beginning ultimately we believe it is going to be to the ultimate interest of Nigeria,” he said.

The minister reiterated that both Benin Republic and Niger Republic were hurting Nigeria’s economy and security because of their non compliance with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit Goods and State of Origin.

“We have been on this dialogue since 2015 and the truth of the matter is that there has never been any legitimate transit trade between us and the two countries

“This is hurting our economy, affecting our security and no country will fold its arms when the overall interest of its people is being jeopardise,” he said.

The minister said that government decided to prohibit sale of fuel in filling stations less than 20km away from the borders because of the high level of smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries.

He said no fewer than 160 filling stations were affected by the directive and they were in such a large number because they primarily engage in smuggling.

“These are stations that when you drive into them in the day time, they will not be dispensing fuel until late in the night when they will smuggle the product across the border,” he said.

Mohammed disclosed that a very sizable proportion of the subsidised imported petrol into the country was finding its way to Benin Republic, Niger Republic and some other West African countries.

“What we find out is that we are actually subsidising the product not just for Nigerians but for many West African countries.

“For instance, if the landing cost of pms is about N200 today, in order to cushion the effect on the people, government sells at N140 per liter.

“Meaning that for every liter of fuel bought, the government is paying N60. If you consume one million litres a day, the government is paying N60 million a day.

“You can imagine that from what the government pays, it is the neighboring countries that benefit about 50 per cent of it,” he said.

Mohammed said that it had been provenly established that 95 per cent of illicit drugs , arms and ammunition came into the country through the land borders with attendant effect on increase in terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other crimes.

He said with the border drill directive, there had been drastic reduction smuggling of drugs and arms into the country, thereby reducing rate of crimes.

The minister said that government was aware of the effects of the border drill on the citizens, particularly the spike in the price of rice, but the people must bear the temporary pains to reap the benefits.

NAN reports that most of the viewers that called in to the programme supported the government on the partial border closure directive.

They contended that Nigeria had been reduced to a dumping ground for decades.

Some of them gave the examples of China that closed its borders for decades to achieve its vision of self reliance and becoming a nation to reckon with globally

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