Entries with tag proof of concept.

Fuel Cell Technology Enables Urine to Charge Phone

University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory researchers have created a fuel cell able to convert urine to electricity sufficient to power a cellular phone. The technology uses bacteria, which the researchers grew on carbon fiber anodes. The anodes were put inside ceramic cylinders into which urine was passed. The bacteria broke down the urine, creating a small electrical charge that could be stored on a capacitor. The researchers were able to send an SMS message, web browse, and make a short phone call on a single charge. The proof-of-concept fuel cell they created is the size of a car battery, but they intend to work on shrinking it so it can be portable and fully charge a battery. They also want it to be used for powering other devices in the home and are working to develop a smart toilet. The work was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. (Discovery News)(BBC)(Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics) 

Researchers Develop Hack via Malicious Device Charger

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a proof-of-concept charger able to install malware onto an Apple device. The researchers say they used their Mactans malicious charging device to inject arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system. They say their hack could be particularly effective because it requires neither a jailbroken device nor user interaction. The researchers built their malicious charger using a BeagleBoard, a low-cost single board computer that is too large to fit in conventional power adaptors but could be concealed in a device such as a docking station. “While Mactans was built with [a] limited amount of time and a small budget, we also briefly consider what more motivated, well-funded adversaries could accomplish,” they noted. Apple has declined to comment on the work, according to Forbes magazine. The researchers will present their findings at the Black Hat USA 2013 security conference in July. (CNET)(Forbes)(Black Hat USA 2013)

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