VoltSchemer's Exploit Enables Wireless Charger Takeovers


Researchers from the University of Florida, in collaboration with CertiK, have developed a theoretical attack named "VoltSchemer" that exploits power supply voltage manipulation to take over wireless chargers. This attack, detailed in a PDF, could potentially damage charging devices, bypass Qi standard mechanisms, and manipulate voice assistants by exploiting voltage noises from the power supply.

The Qi standard, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, manages communication between the power adapter, wireless charger, and charging device. While wireless chargers are generally considered more secure than wired ones due to near-field magnetic coupling for power transfer, the power signals used can be manipulated to control Qi communication, allowing malicious actors to instruct chargers to perform harmful actions.

The researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of their attack by testing it against nine different commercial wireless chargers, all of which were found to be vulnerable. This discovery highlights potential security risks associated with wireless charging technology and emphasizes the need for robust security measures to mitigate such threats.