Do you know anyone who "vapes"? Vaping is the use of the electronic cigarettes and vaporizers that are starting to pop up everyone.
Would your friends be interested to know they may be helping Chinese intelligence services to hack into America's cyber networks and collect data on American citizens, American companies, and American governments?
According to @th3j35t3r (the Jester), a well known cyberwarrior that may be exactly what they are doing. In an article called "What would I do if I was Chinese PLA", Jester lays out the case that "this is a theoretical scenario, theoretical but entirely possible, if not probable".
A compelling case is laid out about the popularity of vaping - as well as all the cool little USB charging coolers, nerf guns, and other assorted products "Made in China". He starts specifically talking about e-cigarette chargers:
Jester delves into some technical details explaining what happened every time he plugged that charger into a USB port. Long story short for the non-technical crowd, the charger loads a common looking application and connects through the web to a Chinese IP address.
Could it be harmless? Sure. But if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... it's probably Peking Duck.
Read the full article and take a step back and think before plugging anything into your USB port. There's a reason secure facilities of the government, military, and corporations have banned USB sticks and started getting computers without the ubiquitous ports.
We have an upcoming series called Hidden Heroes that will features people who have and / or continue to operate in the shadows to protect our freedoms. Jester is the first person we're profiling. That article was going to come out next week but sometimes the world doesn't wait for our schedule. We thought this recent post by Jester was worth getting out immediately and not something to hold off on until we post the profile.