Charging in public places? Watch out for “juice jacking”
Charging in public places blog Image
June 12, 2024

I’m Lewis, the director of Shepherd IT. I had a passion for technology since I was a young boy, I excelled in IT and computer science at college and started my career as a technology analyst helping people with their businesses IT problems.

Airports, hotels, cafés, and even shopping malls provide public charging stations where you can charge your phone or laptop while on the go.

They’ve lately made headlines after the FBI issued a warning to stop using them. Crooks have found out how to use USB ports to implant malware and monitoring software onto charging gadgets.

The security risk of “juice jacking” was formerly regarded to be more theoretical than actual, but the technology required to carry out an assault has become smaller, cheaper, and easier to employ. This means that less sophisticated crooks are now getting involved.

So, how exactly does it work?

The most prevalent charging cords, USB-C and lightning, provide two functions. They have both charging and data pins.

You only utilize the charging pins when charging your device. However, a faulty charging port or a cable left behind could use both charging and data pins without your knowledge.

Criminals can install malware on your smartphone using data pins, giving them access to your credentials and other data. It’s similar to inserting your phone into someone else’s laptop.

To avoid the risk, always bring your own charger and cable with you and connect it into a power outlet. If you have no alternative but to utilize a public USB port, consider purchasing a USB data blocker. This stops data transfer but allows the device to charge.

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