I know a router can be harmed by malware, but what about an router's ethernet cable/wire?

Can the cable/wire itself be infected or affected by malware? (I'm wondering if I should throw my cable out and buy a new one if so, since I very likely had malware in my network?)

  • Highly unlikely. Ethernet cables are simply strands of copper on the inside, with no chips or other computing hardware capable of being infected.
    – tlng05
    Oct 8, 2016 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


No for current network cables this won't be the case.

That said don't rule this out on future cables which contain tiny microchips like some of the Apple charging cables which have authenticator chips hidden in them. As time goes on these will have more features and more potential to be used in attacks. For now though you have nothing at all to worry about.

The following is a teardown of an Apple authenticator chip from a 3rd party adapter, the Apple OEM ones have a smaller form-factor but essentially the same chip. Note how small the actual chip is in the end of the video.


  • Oh, wait, I have an iPAD that needs resetting to. Are you saying my iPADS's charger cable could be infected? If so, would I need to throw it away and buy a new one? THANKS!
    – atrueidiot
    Oct 8, 2016 at 20:20
  • No most likely there is no problem as long as it's your original iPad cable and no one has swapped it on you. There are very specific attacks where people have done this by creating fake cables but they are very rare and that attack would have been focused on your iPad/iPhone itself and it wouldn't have extended to your Router. For now the chips in those factory default cables aren't equipped with enough hardware to be good attack points. In the future they probably will but for now it's not a concern especially given the relationship to your router. Oct 8, 2016 at 20:32
  • answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20161008124731AAq3kFN I also asked this question on Yahoo! answers and got this reply: yes , totally yes. backdoor can be installed on router firmware . after all everything in router is based on linux. and about the ethernet cable-yes,totally totally yes. theres a device called LAN TURTLE that runs for itself when connected with the lan cable and the pc. it spawns backdoors,shells, and what ever you need to hack the remote pc and can be accesed remotely. DOES THAT MEAN EVEN AN ETHERNET CABLE CAN CONTAIN MALWARE???
    – atrueidiot
    Oct 15, 2016 at 12:19
  • No, without a processor and storage it can't do anything. It's just a set of copper wires. Oct 16, 2016 at 2:01
  • See the video I added to the post and just understand that this same type chip exists in other apple cables. Oct 16, 2016 at 2:07


The cable or radio signal for WiFi has no "smarts" - it is just the carrier medium, like a light wave.

Nothing there to hack.

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