Can E-cigs Give Your Computer Malware?
Can E-cigs Give Your Computer Malware?
It might seem difficult to believe – but believe it or not, this story has actually been making the rounds around the blogosphere. In fact, The Guardian even posted a story about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/21/e-cigarettes-malware-computers.
According to several tech and vaping blogs going around right now, there is actually some alleged danger that some ‘made in china’ E-cig chargers actually shipped with malware encoded on them. In theory, this would make it dangerous the plug the devices into your computer, because it would then expose your computer to the risk of infection.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard about this kind of a problem with USB devices. There have actually been some verified reports of products shipping with computer viruses built into them – but are these rumors about E-cig chargers true? Is there really any legitimate credence to these claims, or is this just another thing to write about in the electronic cigarette niche?
Where did the story come from?
I will admit that I was a bit skeptical the first time I read the story. In fact, as I read about it on The Guardian, I found some of the verbiage to be a bit strange.
First of all, The Guardian listed ‘social news site Reddit’ as what seemed to be the primary source for the story – which I found a bit eye-opening. Reddit is basically like a social networking site that operates like a forum where people can have discussions. Anyway, I followed the trail and eventually found the alleged report. What I found was that someone had posted on Reddit that a large corporation had had what they called a ‘data security breach’ due to a malware infection, and that the source of the infection had been traced to a cheap, ‘made in China’ charger that the executive of the company had recently purchased.
Ok, that’s basically the story. You can actually go and read the official Reddit post yourself here: http://www.reddit.com/r/talesfromtechsupport/comments/2mkmlm/the_boss_has_malware_again/.
But now that we’ve discussed the origin of the story, I have to confess that there are a few things that we have to be aware of.
1… This story has NOT been verified
As far as I know, this story has not technically been verified. For all we know, this could have been a prank post. I’m not saying that this didn’t happen – but the truth is that we just don’t know. Anyone could have posted that story. It’s important that we keep this in mind so that we can review the information with reasonability and common sense.
2… Many blogs have picked up the story and run with it—albeit with no additional information
I’ve personally read several blog stories about this, and again and again I see the same information. Many blogs list The Guardian as the official source for the story. A few post links to the original Reddit post.
I’ll be completely honest here – I think that a lot of writers just needed something interesting to write about, so they grabbed this story and ran with it. I don’t want to be a doubter, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be careful – but I’m also saying that there’s a big possibility that this story was overly dramatized by many tech blogs in an effort to get views and to publish something that would kindle interest among their readers.
3… Keep in mind that E-cigs are a controversial subject to begin with—and that it’s little wonder that blogs are looking for news stories about them
As a blogger who writes about E-cigs, I will admit that it is sometimes difficult to find ‘new’ news – though I hardly think that this qualifies. If I wrote a blog about every Reddit post that I’ve read about E-cigs, then I would have enough material to last a lifetime.
Is this big news? Yes it is… IF it’s a true story. But that’s just it – we honestly don’t know whether to believe it or not.
In the end, it’s important to remember that we can benefit from being careful about what we buy. When it comes to electronic cigarettes, it’s important that we spend our money on brands that we can trust. These devices are not only being plugged into our computers, but are also going into our mouths and vapourizing E-liquid into our lungs. We should be careful and buy only products that we are sure will not cause us harm. Trust is a key issue when it comes to vaping.
Still, with that being said, I remain skeptical on this story. Such a thing could definitely happen. In fact, it probably will happen at some point, even if it hasn’t already.
Do I think that there’s reason to panic over it? No. Should we stop producing E-cigs because of it? Definitely not.
Should we choose our products wisely and make sure that we buy from brands that we know can be trusted? Yes – without a doubt.