Cyber security experts raise concerns about e-cigarettes

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Security system experts are now warning the public that e-cigarettes can be modified to hack someone's computer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Security system experts are now warning the public that e-cigarettes can be modified to hack someone's computer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ken Colburn with Data Doctors said the recent concerns about e-cigarettes should be expanded to include anything that connects to a computer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ken Colburn with Data Doctors said the recent concerns about e-cigarettes should be expanded to include anything that connects to a computer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The warnings go out all the the time about protecting your cell phone and computer from hackers.

Now there's something else to worry about -- e-cigarettes.

Security system experts are now warning the public that e-cigarettes can be modified to hack someone's computer.

"I absolutely thought my e-cigarette was safe from hackers," said Priscilla Vinson of Phoenix.

"I would never in a million years have thought of that."

Here's a how it works: Hackers find a way to add a malicious chip to an e-cigarette, then sell it to an unsuspecting buyer. When the owner uses a USB port to charge the e-cig on a computer, the hacker can take control of the computer and upload malicious malware.

Ken Colburn with Data Doctors said the recent concerns about e-cigarettes should be expanded to include anything that connects to a computer.

"Really the function is -- any USB device -- anything that can plug into a USB port is really at risk because something can be planted on a device that basically can infiltrate and compromise your computer," said Colburn.

Colburn suggested the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to buy e-cigarettes from a reputable dealer, or not connect them to a computer.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

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Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

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