Today I learned that "juice jacking" is not just stealing someone's drink.

It just came out that the FBI is warning people about "juice jacking." This is where they use public charging places to infect phones and devices with malware.

Nothing is safe anymore apparently. I always have to have my phone charged especially when I am traveling so this is something I definitely needed to learn.

According to CNBC, "The law enforcement agency says consumers should avoid using public chargers at malls and airports, and stick to their own USB cables and charging plugs."

Consumer devices with compromised USB cables can be hijacked through software that can get your usernames and passwords.

Protect Your Systems and Data

  • Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program.
  • Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account you hold and change them regularly. Using the same passphrase across several accounts makes you more vulnerable if one account is breached.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.

Now they aren't saying you can't charge it, just that you need to bring your full charging cable. Cord, brick, everything and plug it into a wall/AC power outlet or your portable charging device.

If you plug your device into a USB port and a prompt appears asking you to select "share data" or “charge only,” always select “charge only.”

The FBI website always wants to remind people to be careful which Wi-Fi you join as well.

Protect Your Connections

  • Be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network and do not conduct any sensitive transactions, including purchases, when on a public network.
  • Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices that access these ports. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.


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