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Concerns about charging and catching bad files.


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Hello,

I'm once again getting paranoid again about the possibility of catching a virus through charging your phone. I've been charging with a "EP-TA200", I'm not sure if it transfers data at all, lets just say that some descriptions make it sound misleading by saying that the Cable itself transfers data, and not the charger. Eitherway I think it should be a power only adapter, so far I've only used it in home power outlets, but it should be safe to use somewhere in the public as well right?

My main concern and question is, could you accidentally transfer malware with a power outlet via a charger? I worry about transfering malware from one phone to another, even if the chargers aren't the same, just the power outlet is shared. The answers are so vague online that im going crazy, I think most of them are talking about sticking your USB on a public station.

Some even said that you could still catch a malware with a charger if you connect it to a power outlet if you use a homeplug, I am utterly confused about what is safe and what isn't.

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Hi @JorgeBon,

Extremely unlikely.  First, all Android devices are set to default to "charging only" when plugged in.  You have to manually change the setting on the mobile device to transfer files.  Second, unless you are plugging it into another PC or something that has storage to hold files to charge, there is nothing to transfer.  The power outlet would have to secretly be holding files like a USB stick for it transfer files.  This isn't impossible, but once again, very unlikely.  The EP-TA200 itself looks to be a legit fast charger.  The only time I would really worry about this is if you work for an important company and found a charger in the parking lot that has been unknowingly tempered with.  But even that is a highly targeted attack and not something a common user would experience.

Nathan

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Hey @mbam_mtbr

Thank you so much for the reply. The Charger is from an official shop, I was mostly worried if it was capable of transfering data as well, I don't know if you can check that manually since it looks like it contains the d+ and d- pins on the usb port, but I couldn't really figure that out, in short I just wanted to assure if it was a charger only adapter. I think I got nothing to worry about then in this case I think. This might be also a dumb question but does the hidden USB trick behind a power outlet work on the old school electrical outlets? Mostly the ones with two tiny holes instead of a USB port.

Cheers, also thanks, I'm already more calmed down again.

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Hi @JorgeBon,

Technically all cables have the capability to transfer files if you connect it into another device that you can transfer to/from.  IE a PC or another phone.  But once again, you would need to manually put phone into transfer mode to do this, which is not the default.

I should point out that the hidden USB trick is purely hypnotical on my part, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility.  I do know the leaving a USB stick with malware in a company parking lot trick is something that has actually happened.  But once again, very, very targeted attack and very, very rare.

Nathan

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