Be cautious of “juice jacking” when charging your devices in public areas!

Juice Jacking-Cyberworks-Cybersecurity

Public charging points are available in various places, such as airports, hotels, cafes, and shopping malls, there, you can charge your phone or laptop battery while on the move.

Recently, these charging points have gained attention after the FBI warned people against using them. Hackers have found a way to take control of USB ports and install malware and monitoring software onto devices while they are being charged.

Although the risk of juice jacking was considered to be more hypothetical than real, it has become easier and cheaper to carry out an attack using this method. As a result, even less skilled criminals are now attempting to exploit this vulnerability.

Wondering how it works?

The widely used USB-C and lightning charging cables are designed to serve a dual purpose. They consist of pins for both charging and data transfer. While charging your device, only the charging pins are utilized. However, if you use a compromised charging port or a cable left by someone else, it may make use of both the charging and data pins without your knowledge. Cybercriminals can exploit this by installing malware on your device and gaining access to your sensitive credentials and other data. It’s basically similar to connecting your phone to someone else’s laptop.

One way to minimize risk is by carrying your own charger and cable and plugging it into a power outlet instead of using public USB ports. However, if you must use a public USB port, consider purchasing a USB data blocker which will prevent data transfer while still allowing your device to charge.

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