Over the past years, we’ve seen the problem of “juice jacking” grow at public charging stations for phones and other devices. Now the FBI considers the risk of juice jacking so high that it’s telling Americans to completely avoid using public chargers in airports, hotels, and malls.
As a refresher, juice jacking is when hackers install malicious code into public charging stations to read and steal data from mobile devices as well as track them. While it’s more likely to impact Android smartphones than iPhone and iPad, the latter are not invincible to such attacks.
How to prevent juice jacking
As we’ve covered in the past, the FBI highlights the safest move is to use your own charger and a wall outlet instead of a public charging bar (that includes its own cables).
For iPhone and iPad, one of the security measures that can prevent juice jacking is the “Trust this Computer?” prompt when an external device or in this case malicious code is trying to access data. However, some unsuspecting users may tap “Trust” out of habit or without thinking about it.
Also, we’ve seen malicious cables like the $180 O.MG Elite that can compromise iPhone, Mac, Android, and PC. So it’s safest for even Apple users to stay away from public chargers.
The FBI shares more recommendations on its “Be Cautious When Connected” webpage like avoiding sensitive transactions on public WiFi, keeping your devices’ software up to date, and using strong and unique passphrases for online accounts.
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