Unofficial phone chargers aren’t always the safest products to use, and many of us will have read scare stories about fires, and personal injury caused by them. However, for this politician, the third-party charger turned out to be considerably more malicious, after, all on its own, it decided to browse Twitter and start favoriting images of a more adult nature.
Simon Danczuk, a 48-year old Labour MP in the UK, had favorited an image on Twitter from an account which – in its own words – posted “sexy pictures of sexy women.” In an interview with Key 2 radio in Manchester, as quoted by The Telegraph, Danczuk decided to blame the charger for it, and called the action a “technological accident.”
“I had put my iPhone on charge using one of those uncertified chargers. I went on to Twitter while it was plugged in. And when I went on to Twitter it started jumping about. It started doing predictive text and moving around the screen everywhere. Before I knew it, and unbeknown to me, I had favorited a tweet which related to this porn site image.”
The tweet has since been unfavorited, and Danczuk doesn’t follow the account in question. Bizarrely, despite making this elaborate excuse, Danczuk doesn’t have a problem admitting he “uses” (his yucky word) pornography. He told The Telegraph, “Let’s be truthful about this. If I am being asked have I ever used porn, then the answer is yes.” Danczuk is also a prolific Twitter user, with nearly 15,000 tweets to his name, and more than 7,000 favorites – so it’s safe to assume he knows his way around the social network.
Should we be concerned there is some form of very specific malware out there right now, favoriting selected images on Twitter without our knowledge? While the possibility of an iPhone charger forcing a Twitter client to favorite a single, adult image sounds highly unlikely, there is a history of unofficial chargers being responsible for spreading malware.
Back in 2013 researchers made chargers which were actually tiny computers in disguise, and they posed a serious threat to an iPhone’s security, and there were concerns in 2014 the WireLurker iOS virus could be spread in a similar way.
Luckily, Apple solved the problem with a new feature back in iOS 7. It provides a warning when a device that isn’t a simple charger or a recognized computer is connected to an iPhone, so the owner gets to choose whether to trust the unknown device or not.