Don't Fall for "Juice Jacking": Protect Your Devices While Charging in Public Places

May 9, 2023

We've all been out and about, low on battery, and desperate for a charging point. Public charging stations in airports, hotels, and cafes seem like a godsend, but beware of "juice jacking." Criminals have found a way to hijack USB ports to install malware and monitoring software onto devices as they charge, putting your data at risk.

While this security risk was once considered theoretical, it's now a real threat. The FBI recently tweeted advice to stop using public charging stations. With smaller and cheaper technology, criminals are increasingly able to perform these attacks.

How does it work?

Most charging cables - USB-C and lightning - are dual-purpose. They have pins for both charging and data.

When you charge your device, you only use the charging pins. However, a compromised charging port - or a cable that someone left behind - can be used to charge and send data simultaneously.

Through data pins, criminals can install malware onto your device that can give them access to your credentials. It's like you are plugging your phone into someone else's computer.

How to stay safe?

It's best always to carry your charger and cable and plug it into a power outlet. But if you have no choice but to use a public USB port, invest in a USB data blocker. This device prevents data from being transferred while still allowing your device to charge.

Contact HUB Technology Solutions at 204-772-8822 or 1-833-847-0725 to learn how we can help you safeguard your devices and data.

Act now and stay secure!


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