Two researchers from George Mason University, Dr. Angelos Stavrou, and Zhaohui Wang, have demonstrated the ability to use a smartphone (a
Nexus One

, but Dr. Stavrou says this applies to the

as well) as a HID (Human Input Device) via USB. Simply put, just plugging the phone into a computer causes it to act as a mouse or keyboard, with no server on the computer in question, and offers little or no warning on the computer screen.

we would call something like this one one helluva cool hack

, but there's a scary side, too. The exploit could be made viral, on Windows, Mac, and Linux. According to Dr. Stavrou;

"Say your computer at home is compromised and you compromise your Android phone by connecting them, Then, whenever you connect the smartphone to another laptop or computing device I can take over that computer also, and then compromise other computers off that Android. It's a viral type of compromise using the USB cable."
That caught our attention, so we reached out to Dr. Stavrou, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Read the rest, after the break. [


Q&A: Explaining how the Nexus One was used to take control of a host computer

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