Smoking will not only damage your health but also your computer, as e-cigarettes manufactured in China are reportedly being used to spread malicious software through the USB connection used to charge the device. A recent post to social news site Reddit detailed how the computer of an executive at a “large corporation” had been infected with malware from an undetermined source. Further investigation apparently revealed that it had stemmed from a $5 e-cigarette bought from the online auction site eBay. “The executive’s system was patched up to date, had antivirus and anti-malware protection,” Reddit user Jrockilla said. “Web logs were scoured and all attempts made to identify the source of the infection but to no avail. Finally after all traditional means of infection were covered, IT started looking into other possibilities. They finally asked the executive: ‘Have there been any changes in your life recently?’ The executive answered: ‘Well yes, I quit smoking two weeks ago and switched to e-cigarettes.’ And that was the answer they were looking for.” The e-cigarette was found to have malware hard-coded into the charger, which “phoned home” and infected the system when plugged into the computer’s USB port. via Yahoo Tech News.
The auction has been closed.