The risks linked to vaping may well be unexpected.
Instead of sanitary risks as underlined by vaping critics, there could be computing risks! Actually, some hackers have used the USB port of some boxes to transfer a virus. The principle is quite simple. If you plug your box on a computer to charge it, it could transfer some files on the computer. Or start the webcam, execute programs or any other idea a hacker has thought about.
Ross Bevington, a searcher in cyber-security has successfully proven this possibility last week during the B-Sides London Convention. He even managed to make a computer believe that a box was a combo keyboard-mouse. However, the risks remain limited because boxes are not connected to the Internet yet and their capacity of storage is limited. A virus such as WannaCry that hit the headlines in May by infecting more than 300 000 computers running under Windows XP in more than 150 countries is for example 100 times heavier than the storage capacity of an electronic cigarette. The searcher indicated in response to that point that hackers could very well create a code able to download on the computer a file that it needs and execute it.
You may have already heard about the hacking of electronic cigarettes for the first time in 2014 on Reddit, following the testimony of a user who works in IT. Globally, the principle was the same than the one used by Ross Bevington but targeted a large company. Plugging one and only box had been enough to hack the system.
Our simple advice
All in all, the conclusion is very simple.
Plug your electronic cigarette to a power outlet and you’ll always be protected.
Jeremie is a journalist who has been writing about e-cigarettes for five years. Always on the lookout for new trends, he has already tested hundreds of different products.