Can you get a virus/malware from powerbank?

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  1. Posts : 1,035
    Windows 10
       #1

    Can you get a virus/malware from powerbank?


    https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop...s/apd/451-bbkv


    I bought one of these for my laptop a while back and use it as backup power for my laptop. I want to get another one of these and notice that on sites like ebay, people sell them either new, open box or used and the price is much less than on dell.


    Last time when i bought it off dell site, there was a sale. I should have bought 2 but i didn't.


    There is no risk of a dell powerbank like this infecting a laptop with malware/virus or keylogger right since you can only plug it into the laptop via power cord? There are however usb ports though if say you want to charge a phone or other things like that. But that is possible for someone to put malware/keylogger/virus on it?




    I heard that if you use a powerbank that has a usb-c cable like the one below, then all bets are off right as if someone sold a used or tampered powerbank like the one below, you can get your computer with virus/malware... is that correct?


    https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop...s/apd/451-bcev




    So would you recommend to not worry about these things, just pay more and get it new? I always buy electronics pretty much new. But i dont want to risk buying something that could possibly be tampered which is why i pretty much always buy from sites like amazon or dell when it comes to electronics. I assume for the first powerbank, if you only use it to connect to your laptop, then its 100% safe? But if you use the usb ports, well its not if someone who sold it or someone who had it before and sold it could do something with the usb ports? I read in an article you should never borrow a usb cable from others because its possible that person could be giving you a cable with malware etc.


    But would someone installing malware into something like this be tough or easy? Would the costs be worth it? How much money would it cost to tamper something like this and how long would it take for them to do that? For example, if its being sold to someone with very important things on their computer, well i could see someone like a hacker doing everything to put malware on it.
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  2. Posts : 7,088
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    There is no risk if connected via a power cord. In theory an infection is possible via a USB connection. However, you should be OK if you buy a new powerbank from a leading brand from a trusted supplier.
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  3. Posts : 2,078
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    I don't see how anything can be installed in it or on it. It's not a drive of any kind. It's just a battery.
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  4. Posts : 26,984
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #4

    Anything that has its own controller, can possibly be used as a inection vector. Powerbank has abbility to check voltage status of connected device, but it is all dependant on how it is built.

    Answer, most probably not, but it is possible (dependant on powerbank functions)
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  5. Posts : 245
    W10 Home Version 21H1 Build 19043.1055
       #5

    Buy or make a USB 'power only' cable if really paranoid...https://www.instructables.com/id/USB-Condom/
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  6. Posts : 1,035
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Well if you buy it directly from dell, obviously there is nothing to worry about. Or say new from amazon. But what about from sellers on ebay or amazon then where the item might be possibly used when they say its new? Well that would be a lie but the bigger concern is if someone could compromised it.
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  7. Posts : 6,886
    Win 11 Home
       #7

    paulyjustin said:
    Well if you buy it directly from dell, obviously there is nothing to worry about. Or say new from amazon. But what about from sellers on ebay or amazon then where the item might be possibly used when they say its new? Well that would be a lie but the bigger concern is if someone could compromised it.
    Don't buy it from anyone else then. Problem solved !
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  8. Posts : 1,035
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    So i just bought this off amazon and is new. I haven't received it yet. I already have one of these and got it off dell a while back and its good. But can others confirm that something like this is safe? I know there are usb ports but if its just plugging in the power cord, can you still get malware?


    What do you mean usb power only cable? So if you use that with this, its 100% safe even if powerbank is compromised?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Infrasonic said:
    Buy or make a USB 'power only' cable if really paranoid...Make a USB Cable 'power Only': 6 Steps

    So doing this with the powerbank even if it has malware prevents this?

    - - - Updated - - -

    But i bought a 2nd dell pw7015l power bank but got it off amazon. 1st one i got from dell directly but this time went with amazon because it was cheaper. I received it earlier and noticed.It didn't have plastic wrap over it like the one dell one 6 months ago. The box that it was shipped in looks completely different than the one i received 6 months ago. Its the same pw7015l powerbank so should this be a concern?This is how the one i ordered from dell directly looked.Dell Power Companion Battery Pack Latitude 3300 5570 7470 PW7015L ✅❤️️✅❤️️✅ | eBayThe box that was shipped from amazon looks like this.. except it says pw7015l. I cannot find a pw7015l box that looked like the one i received today.https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Hybrid-A...45&sr=8-37Also when i research this hybrid adapter/powerbank, i read tons of these got recalled.So should i return it? The box is not even in plastic wrapping like it was from dell directly 6 months ago. But im more concerned with this could be tampered with etc.
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  9. Posts : 8,633
    Mac OS Catalina
       #9

    In theory, anything can be made to plant malware or even spy on someone. 'PowerSnitch' Hacks Androids via Power Banks
    Why You Should Never Use Airport USB Charging Stations
    https://null-byte.wonderhowto.com/ho...outer-0183444/
    The 802.11 Ninja - Portable 802.11 Hacking Device: 8 Steps
    World’s smallest quad-core Linux SBC starts at $8
    PQI Power Drive merges power bank, card reader and wireless access point into one

    All of these links give you the idea of the tools and hardware needed. Anything can be turned into a rogue device with enough thought in how to do it. Now with the newest very small SBC (Single Board Computer) devices that are out. It is very easy to hide the rogue device in a location that no one would ever think to look for it, while it just sits there collecting data.

    It also brings up a good topic. When MQTT first came around, they were placed in and around those areas at the universities that they were being tested at in places that you would never look for them. Someone started removing them and all that they did was sit and collect information on how students and staff were moving by recording the wifi and bluetooth beacon given off by their devices, namely their cellphones. Nothing about who they were or what the students devices were doing data wise, other than creating a heat map of how people tend to move as information moves around an area. That information being the students communicating and using common areas.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 1,035
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    bro67 said:
    In theory, anything can be made to plant malware or even spy on someone. 'PowerSnitch' Hacks Androids via Power Banks
    Why You Should Never Use Airport USB Charging Stations
    https://null-byte.wonderhowto.com/ho...outer-0183444/
    The 802.11 Ninja - Portable 802.11 Hacking Device: 8 Steps
    World’s smallest quad-core Linux SBC starts at $8
    PQI Power Drive merges power bank, card reader and wireless access point into one

    All of these links give you the idea of the tools and hardware needed. Anything can be turned into a rogue device with enough thought in how to do it. Now with the newest very small SBC (Single Board Computer) devices that are out. It is very easy to hide the rogue device in a location that no one would ever think to look for it, while it just sits there collecting data.

    It also brings up a good topic. When MQTT first came around, they were placed in and around those areas at the universities that they were being tested at in places that you would never look for them. Someone started removing them and all that they did was sit and collect information on how students and staff were moving by recording the wifi and bluetooth beacon given off by their devices, namely their cellphones. Nothing about who they were or what the students devices were doing data wise, other than creating a heat map of how people tend to move as information moves around an area. That information being the students communicating and using common areas.
    Hey yes i read some of the articles like the airport usb stations. I also don't put usb devices flash drives into my main laptop unless its the ones i use for me only.


    But i also had others say doing it by connecting via power cable was either not possible or very unlikely.


    What made me concerned more is the pw7015l i received... the box looked completely different on amazon that i received compared to the one i bought directly from dell 6 months ago. I cannot find one box of the pw7015l on the internet that looks like this box. So wouldn't this be a bit of a concern to you?
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