Modified Lightning cables let hackers remotely hack Apple devices

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Lightning cables that plug into USB-C ports charge your iPhone more quickly.
Hacked cables were shown off at a recent hacking conference.
Photo: Apple

Everyone knows about the risks of phishing email, dodgy downloaded software, and accessing sensitive data while using public Wi-Fi. But how about third-party Lightning cables?

According to a new report, these are a risk as well — with security experts noting that it’s possible for malicious Lightning cables to grant access to your Mac to a remote attacker.

Every USB device I’ve plugged into an iOS 13 iPad so far

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Pile of usb junk
I plugged in everything, including the kitchen sink
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The USB port on your iPad has gotten a massive update in iOS 13/iPadOS. You can now plug in pretty much everything except a printer, and have it Just Work™. We already know this from Apple’s own PR and WWDC announcements. But what exactly does work when you plug it in? I decided to try it. I took my old test iPad (a 1st-generation iPad Pro) on a tour around various friends’ homes, and plugged stuff in. Here’s what happened.

iOS 13 could make upgrading from an old iPhone much faster

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iOS-13-wired-data-transfer
Yes, that’s two iPhones connected via a cable.
Photo: Apple

You may soon be able to transfer photos, videos, contacts, and more from an old iPhone to a new one using a cable.

The latest iOS 13 beta hints at the ability to connect two iOS devices for wired data transfer. The move could significantly speed up the upgrade process, which currently relies on wireless connectivity.

But it’s not exactly clear how you’ll be able to marry two iPhones with a cable.

Apple might kill the Lightning port with speedier waveguides

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Apple waveguides patent
An iPhone receiving data via a waveguide wouldn’t need an external port.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is looking for better options for transmitting data than wires or wireless connections. One possibility mixes the two: sending high-speed data down waveguides.

The result would something capable of transferring data much more quickly than a wire and without requiring a port on the iPhone.

Target recalls 90,000 Lightning cables that cause burns

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Target Lightning recall
Stop using these cables immediately.
Photo: Target

Target is recalling around 90,000 Lightning cables over concerns they could cause fires or electric shocks.

The “heyday” branded cables, which feature a nylon braided cable and metal connectors, “can become electrically charged,” according to a recall notice.

Target has so far received 14 reports of the cables “smoking, sparking or igniting.”

2019 iPhone lineup may finally come with 18W charger

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18W charger
Apple currently charges $29 to buy the 18W charger separately.
Photo: Apple

Freshly leaked details about the 2019 iPhone lineup claim customers can expect faster-charging capabilities right out of the box.

While Apple added faster-charging powers to the iPhone since the iPhone 8, it’s been giving customers the same 5W charger that has been used for years. That is finally set to change this year though as Apple is reportedly planning to include an 18W charger in the box with new 2019 iPhones.

5-in-1 cable gives you one dongle to rule them all

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High Five
High Five packs all the ports you need.
Photo: Vonmählen

The dark days of dongle hell might finally be over thanks to a brilliant new accessory that packs five different ports in one cable.

Vonmählen, a smartphone accessory maker based in Germany, revealed its new creation called the High Five. The company claims it’s the first ever 5-in-1 cable that’s so small it fits on your keychain. Best of all, it’s super cheap too.