I tested an HDMI adapter that demands your location, browsing data, photos, and spams you with ads

I recently got my hands on an ordinary-looking iPhone-to-HDMI adapter that mimics Apple’s branding and, when plugged in, runs a program that implores you to “Scan QR code for use.” That QR code takes you to an ad-riddled website that asks you to download an app that asks for your location data, access to your photos and videos, runs a bizarre web browser, installs tracking cookies, takes “sensor data,” and uses that data to target you with ads. The adapter’s app also kindly informed me that it’s sending all of my data to China.

Just imagine what kind of stuff is happening that isn’t perpetrated by crude idiots, but by competent state-sponsored actors. I don’t believe for a second that at least a number of products from Apple, Dell, HP, and so on, manufactured in Chinese state-owned factories, are not compromised. The temptation is too high, and even if, say, Apple found something inside one of their devices rolling off the factory line – what are they going to do? Publicly blame the Chinese government, whom they depend on for virtually all their manufacturing?

You may trust HP, but do you trust the entire chain of people and entities controlling their supply chain?


  1. 2023-09-29 5:03 pm
    • 2023-09-30 2:14 am
  2. 2023-09-30 4:04 am
  3. 2023-09-30 5:54 pm