USB cables have become a lot popular especially the new cables like type C which is the new standard for charging and data transfer. USB cables are a common way to transfer data between devices and they are also interchangeable.
A lot of us probably also share them with other people. This can raise concern in some people about USB cables carrying virus or malware. Can USB cables carry virus?
Well, the answer is no a normal USB cable does not have any type of storing capacity to carry a virus or malware. USB cables can only transfer data and once disconnected they lose all of the information/electricity.
In this blog post, we will further elaborate on this topic and also talk about the new type of cable in the market that can actually hack or transfer the virus.
What is a virus? How does it transfer?
A virus is basically a malicious code or a malicious program that can cause the system to stop working or can slow it down. Just like a biological virus, It can damage the device and prevent it from functioning properly.
A computer virus can transfer in many ways. The most common method is by USB devices like USB flash drives, memory cards, and external hard drives.
The thing about computer virus is it needs some kind of storage unit. USB cables do not have this capacity. USB cables are only good for transferring data from one device to another so it is possible for a normal cable to carry or hold the virus.
Can a USB Cable store data/virus?
No, a normal USB cable can not store data. But it can transfer data from one device to another. Without a way to retain or store information all of the electricity/information in the cables would be lost once power is disconnected.
A computer virus is a program just like any other program. They can be stored on a Hard drive or USB drive something like that. A USB can not store any data so it can not carry virus. A typical mouse, keyboard, or headset also lacks storage.
The only way you can get a virus from a USB cable is if you used it for transferring something but end up transferring some sort of infected file into your computer.
USB cable can transfer or pass a virus but it will not contain it. It will not be present inside the cable when you plan to use it next time for charging.
A lightning/USB cable that can hack your computer
There is a special type of cable present in the market that can hack your computer. These USB cables are designed to look like normal USB cables but they have some kind of chip inside them.
This type of USB cable is used to connect the device to a network and once it is plugged in, it can give the hacker complete control over the system. This type of USB cable is known as a USB ninja cable.
USB Ninja is an information security and penetration tool that looks and functions just like a regular USB cable but with some added features. USB Ninja can be used to remotely control a computer or hack it. You can check out this article for more detail on Such cables.
Using public cables
A lot of malls and airports have USB charging stations where people can charge their devices. The USB cables at these stations are usually loose and people can plug in their devices without any problem.
But there is a possibility that they can transfer virus or malware to your device or can steal your data. So, it is better to avoid using such USB cables. But if you are still going to use it make sure to select the “Charge only option” on your phone if it asks you.
I hope you found this article helpful. In conclusion no it is not possible for a normal USB to carry a virus but it can transfer it.
But if you are worried that your cable might have a virus after your friend used it to charge his phone or to transfer something. It is not possible as USB cables don’t have any storage space to store virus or data.