Can E-cigarettes infect Your Computer with a Virus?

An anonymous IT person has claimed that there was a security breach at a large corporation that was caused by an executive connecting his e-cigarette charger to his computer via the computer’s USB port. It took the corporation’s IT team some time to determine the source of the breach, because the executive’s computer was updated with all security patches, had antivirus and other security software.

Can E-cigarettes infect Your Computer with a Virus?

The anonymous IT person then claimed that the source of the breach was discovered after the executive told them that he had switched to e-cigarettes, which was made in China.

The IT team of the corporation then discovered that the e-cigarette charger was hardcoded with malicious programs (malware) that infected the computer when it was plugged into it for charging the e-cigarette.

We were unable to verify the authenticity of the IT guy’s story, but it is important that you know that any device that connects to your computers via the USB port, even for charging the device only, can be altered to infect your computer with a virus or some other malware.

So, it is recommended that you do not plug devices with USB connector like Flash Drives/ Thumb drives, e-cigarette charger, MP3 players or Photo Frames into your computer from people you do not know, even if you have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on it.

If you smoke e-cigarettes, it is recommended that you do not plug the charger into your computer for charging, instead, plug it into the electrical wall outlet or car charger if you are driving, where it is safer. Or, buy e-cigarette charger from reputable companies and not from unknown or generic companies, simply because they are far cheaper.

Here is the Anonymous IT Guy’s Story

"I have a story I wanted to share about a data security breach at a large corporation. One particular executive had a malware infection on his computer from which the source could not be determined.

The executive’s system was patched up to date, had antivirus and up to date anti-malware protection. 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 answer "Well yes, I quit smoking two weeks ago and switched to e-cigarettes".

And that was the answer they were looking for, the made in china e-cigarette had malware hard coded into the charger and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.

Moral of the story is have you ever question the legitimacy of the $5 dollar EBay made in China USB item that you just plugged into your computer? Because you should, you damn well should.

Sincerely, An IT guy"

This IT guy’s story was taken from Reddit, click here to view.

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Can E-cigarettes infect Your Computer with a Virus?