We’ve all been there—you’re at an airport or a mall and your phone is out of battery. You didn’t bring your charger and your power bank is also flat, but at least you have a cable. Joy of joys, there’s a public charging station with USB ports that you can use to bring your device back to life.
Except last week, the Denver, Colorado arm of the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken to Twitter to warn the public not to use such chargers. This is because hackers are able to use these USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto your phone—a phenomenon known as “juice jacking”—that will allow them to steal your data and track you.
The agency continued, urging users to instead bring a charger with them and use an electrical outlet. The advice is part of the FBI’s “Be Cautious When Connected” website, which also tells the public not to conduct any sensitive transactions over public WiFi, install the latest software updates on their devices and create a strong and unique password for every online account.
Aside from keeping a charger (and a fully-charged power bank, just in case) with you at all times, one of the ways you can prevent juice jacking is by selecting “Don’t Trust” on your iPhone or iPad whenever a “Trust This Computer?” prompt pops up, indicating that a device is trying to access your data. There are also data blockers (also known as a USB condom) that you can purchase to prevent any data from being transferred through your cable.
[ VIA ]