Monday, June 17, 2024
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FBI warning: Don’t use public charging stations

FBI Denver office warned people against using public charging stations at airports or malls.

There was no specific incident, according to FBI Denver office, rather it was meant as a field office warning.

“Juice jacking” is a concern according to the US government.

FCC warns that malware installed through corrupted USB ports can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to criminals.

Matt Swinder, editor-in-chief and founder of, told CBS News: “The scary part of juice jacking is that you probably won’t even be able to tell that your phone is infected with malware after plugging it into a compromised USB port.”

Swinder added: “You’re much more likely to have your credit card skimmed than be juice jacked, based on the lack of hard evidence of widespread cases.

“As rare as juice jacking is right now, the threats of identity theft have migrated from being purely physical to being primarily digital over the last decade.”  

Technology journalist Dan Patterson said: “It’s also a fairly easy and low-cost hack — especially in airports and other public locations.” 

He offers simple advice to follow: “Never use a charger that isn’t yours or someone you know.”

NetRise CEO Thomas Pace compared charging stations and juice jacking to ATMs and ATM skimmers.

Pace said: “Are ATM skimmers a problem? Do they exist? The answer to both of those questions is yes. Did we remove all ATMs because of it? No, we did not.”

Pace recommended visually inspecting the charger prior to plugging in, and not using it if it appears to have been tampered with in some way.

He added that people can be careful by using a USB data blocker, a small dongle that adds a layer of protection between a device and the charging point — or as they’re unofficially known, “USB condoms.” He carries one around with him all the time. 

“Pretty much guarantees you are good to go,” he added. 

(Source: CBS)

(Image: Wikimedia)


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