PoisonTap connects to the USB port and announces itself not as a USB device, but an Ethernet interface. The computer, glad to switch over from battery-sucking Wi-Fi, sends a DHCP request, asking to be assigned an IP. PoisonTap responds, but in doing so makes it appear that a huge range of IPs are not in fact out there on servers but locally connected on the LAN, through this faux wired connection.
you don’t even have to be there: pre-loaded items like analytics and ads will be active, and as soon as one of them sends an HTTP request — BAM, PoisonTap responds with a barrage of data-caching malicious iframes for the top million Alexa sites. And those iframes, equipped with back doors, stick around until someone clears them out.
This sounds quite worrisome, yet I did not hear too much about it yet. So my main question is:
How vulnerable are people to the PoisonTap hack?
It seems like the following points would be relevant:
- Is the general population at risk, or only a very specific subset (OS, browser?)
- What exactly is at risk, your data, your gmail account ...?
- Is it something that most people can pull off, or does it depend on specific hardware and a high level of skill?
- Is there something that one can do easily, without closing all browsers or turning off the PC each time when you walk to a different room to ask a short question. (Is locking it sufficient?)
And of course, if it is as bad as it seems: can we expect updates soon that would make it safer to go to the toilet again?