Public Charging Ports Can Steal Your Data; Here’s How To Prevent Juice Jacking

by Tejashee Kashyap
Public Charging Ports Can Steal Your Data; Here’s How To Prevent Juice Jacking

Charging ports are one of the most significant advantages of charging up your phones and devices whenever you want to!  But, modern technology comes with its own form of shortcomings. Hence, the next time you’re travelling, think twice before charging your phone at a public charging station. Why? Because there’s a new type of cyber attack lurking out there, called Juice Jacking that has emerged in the era of widespread mobile device usage.

What Is Juice Jacking?

With a Twitter announcement that went in early April, the FBI is warning travellers against using public charging ports due to cybersecurity concerns. This new term of a cyber-theft tactic called juice jacking targets public charging stations such as those found in airports, hotels, and other public places. This type of attack allows hackers to steal data from a victim’s device, including personal information, passwords, and other sensitive data.

The concept of juice jacking is relatively simple. How does it work? Many public charging stations are equipped with USB ports that allow users to charge their devices on the go. However, these USB ports can also be used to transfer data from the device to the charging station.

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A charging station is infected with malware, which is then able to infect the victim’s device when it is connected to the station for charging. Once the malware is installed on the victim’s device, the hacker is able to access the data stored on the device and potentially steal sensitive information.

How To Prevent It?

Juice Jacking
Image credits: Canva
  • The easiest way is to avoid using public charging stations altogether. Instead, it is recommended to use a personal power bank or a wall charger to charge your devices.
  • If you must use a public charging station, it is important to use a charging cable that you know is safe and secure.
  • Additionally, you should avoid using public charging stations that are located in areas that are not well-lit or that are otherwise unsecured.
  • If you do suspect your information might have been exposed, websites like FreeDarkWebScan help you to find out if your information is compromised on the dark web.

The reason why juice jacking is a concern is that most people do not consider the potential risks associated with charging their devices in public places. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of juice jacking, there are several precautions that you can take to minimise the risk. By being aware of the potential risks and taking the necessary precautions, you can protect your personal data and stay safe.

Cover image credits: Canva