FBI Warns of Juice Jacking and not using public charging stations

usb cord

Do you ever plug your phone into public charging stations? You could be vulnerable to an attack called “Juice Jacking“. Juice Jacking is when malicious parties install malware into a public charging station.

When unexpecting users are low on battery power and plug their phone into the now-infected charging station, malware can get installed onto their phone and they can have their personal data exported off the device.

The FBI recently came out warning people against using public charging stations.

If you ever plug your phone into a public charging station and are prompted for authentication to allow it to be accessed, this would be a big warning sign. It's the same prompt when plugging your phone into a computer.

There are ways you can protect yourself. First, avoid using public charging stations. If you must, you can purchase an adapter that goes on the end of the charging cord. These types of devices are called data blockers. They are USB adapters that have had the data pins removed from them. The only thing a cable can do while plugged in is charge your device.

People also use such adapters in their vehicles when they want to charge their device, but don't want the car to instantly detect it and start connecting it to the car's entertainment system.

Another way to protect yourself is to purchase a battery bank that you carry with you. If you are ok with bulk, you may look into buying a lithium-ion car jumper pack. They are a bit thick but still portable and have USB ports to charge your device.

The great thing about these devices is you can also use them for their intended purpose which is to jump your car should you have a dead battery.

I have one, and it works great!

If you travel a lot and frequently stay at hotels you should probably bring along a charging station. It looks like a thick USB hub that you plug into the wall and can charge a bunch of devices at once. Anker is a well-known brand of such chargers.

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