Staying connected has become a necessity, and that requires staying charged. But the FBI has warned about the dangers of free public charging stations.
“Juice jacking” is a term the FBI uses to describe a cyber attack in which hackers use public charging stations to gain unauthorized access to devices and install malware or tracking software. According to the FBI, “bad actors” are exploiting the USB ports on these charging stations to install malware and tracking software onto computers and phones that get plugged in. Once installed, this malicious software allows hackers to access sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal data. This technique has become increasingly popular among cybercriminals as more people rely on mobile devices and require frequent charging.
These attacks are prevalent in high-traffic areas such as airports, where travelers may be more likely to seek charging options.
The FBI recommends that travelers avoid using USB charging ports altogether and instead rely on AC power outlets or bring their charging cables and portable power banks.
Cybercriminals are becoming savvier, exploiting travelers and unsuspecting victims just looking for a quick charge. Be vigilant. Protect your devices, and protect your privacy.