The charging outlets present in public places can hack your phone data when plugged in, according to a research.
We are well aware of the risks of using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Cyber criminals are finding advanced techniques to access users’ data and the attack through public charging outlets is one of them, which is called “Juice jacking”.
People can’t help but use the USB ports when they face low battery issue while on the go, especially in public areas such as airports, planes, conference centers and parks. Drew Paik of security firm Authentic8 told CNN,
“Just by plugging your phone into a power strip or charger, your device is now infected, and that compromises all your data.”
The smartphones these days have chargers like USB ports that are also used to send/receive data to/from a phone or a PC. If a port is compromised, there’s no limit to what information a hacker could take including emails, contacts, photos, videos and other sensitive information. This is called “Juice Jacking”.
Juice jacking is a term used to describe a cyber attack wherein malware might be installed to a smartphone, tablet or other computer device using a charging port.
In order to conduct a social experiment at a conference, Authentic8 set up a charging station offering cords for people to charge devices. Paik stated that more than 80% people used the ports without confirming about the security.
What should you do?
- Carry your own charger with you.
- Instead of using USB ports, use a portable USB battery pack instead.
- You can buy USB cords that don’t have wires to transmit data and prevent anyone from hijacking your phone’s information.