Backdoor found in Energizer Duo USB battery charger

The battery maker says it doesn't know how the Trojan got into the software it offered via download for Windows-based computers.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read


Software that can be downloaded for use with the Energizer Duo USB battery charger contains a backdoor that could allow an attacker to remotely take control of a Windows-based PC, Energizer and US-CERT is warning.

"The installer for the Energizer Duo software places the file UsbCharger.dll in the application's directory and Arucer.dll in the Windows system32 directory," the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in an advisory on Friday. "Arucer.dll is a backdoor that allows unauthorized remote system access via accepting connections on 7777/tcp. Its capabilities include the ability to list directories, send and receive files, and execute programs."

The Windows software was made available via a download with the Energizer Duo Charger, Model CHUSB, Energizer said in a statement.

The battery maker said it does not know how the Trojan got into the software. "Energizer has discontinued sale of this product and has removed the site to download the software," the statement said. "Energizer is currently working with both CERT and U.S. government officials to understand how the code was inserted in the software."

For systems with the software installed, US-CERT recommends removing the Energizer Duo software and Arucer.dll file, as well as blocking access to port 7777 via network perimeter devices or firewall software.

The Trojan may have been in the software since it was first offered three years ago, according to Symantec.

"We were interested in finding out how long this file had been available to the public. The compile time for the file is May 10, 2007. It is impossible to say for sure that this Trojan has always been in this software, but from our initial inspection it appears so," Symantec wrote in a blog post. "The Trojan still operates whether this device is found or not, so a USB charger doesn't need to be plugged in for the Trojan to be functioning."

If the Trojan does date back to 2007, that is around the same time that there was a rash of products like digital photo frames hitting U.S. shelves infected with malware, said Marcus Sachs, director of the SANS Internet Storm Center.

"This may simply be from that time frame when all the factories in China were not clean and many were putting malware onto stuff, not intentionally but because the hygiene wasn't good," he said in an interview on Monday.

"Who knows where the server (hosting the software) is located," he said. "It could have been exposed to the unclean conditions that were rampant there."