# What is the purpose of a USB port in the cockpit?

I'm definitely new to the site so apologies if this question is naive but google turned up no answers for me:

As an example, Hypponen said he had recently spoken to a European aircraft maker that said it cleans the cockpits of its planes every week of malware designed for Android phones. The malware spread to the planes only because factory employees were charging their phones with the USB port in the cockpit.

The question that immediately sprung to my mind was:

What is the intended purpose of USB port(s) in the plane cockpit?

Was it really intended for charging devices like phones? That seems naively insecure.

• Welcome to the site! Good question, it was actually just discussed in our chat room. – fooot Apr 27 '16 at 15:24
• The fact that it allows them to link to the flight computers is unsettling, but yeah, pilots may have an EFB they want to keep running or something else electronic that needs power, but I don't see why they don't just install a "power-only" USB socket. – Ryan Mortensen Apr 27 '16 at 15:30
• – kepler22b Apr 27 '16 at 15:36
• A USB port that only delivers power (i.e. only for charging) is not a security threat. So, evidently, the USB port is actually connected to the on board systems. – Thomas Apr 27 '16 at 17:11
• I would treat that article with a great deal of caution. This quote - Because the plane runs a different operating system, nothing would befall it. But it would pass the virus on to other devices that plugged into the charger is technical nonsense. Officers of anti-virus software vendors are not to be trusted when talking about viruses. There are several other quotes which suggest either "bending of the truth" or a lack of understanding. – Simon Apr 27 '16 at 17:54