Juice jacking: the risk of charging your smartphone in public USB ports

Maybe you didn’t know it, but the simple act of recharging your cell phone in a public USB port can make you a victim of a new type of cybercrime. This is juice jacking, a new criminal invention that takes advantage of the needs that mobile device users have to keep them optimally charged so as not to lose communication or use their entertainment functions.

Thus, actors involved in juice jacking attacks often install malicious hardware or software on public USB ports found in airports, cafes, or waiting rooms. Their goal is the theft of personal information (photos and videos), passwords, bank account data and in general any type of information with which they can impersonate the owner of the phone and thus obtain illicit profits. And for this, they can also install unauthorized apps that are difficult to detect, but which then grant them remote access to the terminal.

But outside of the problems associated with the impersonation or capture of sensitive data, there is another associated risk. Public USB ports are often in poor condition and can damage computer software or hardware. Additionally, they tend to offer such a weak charge that it wastes time and causes the battery to continue draining.

How to avoid juice jacking attacks?

The best thing you can do is completely avoid using public USB ports to charge your smartphone. Better opt for these safe alternatives:

Use the wall charger and USB cable that came from the factory with your cell phone.

Charge your cell phone only in USB ports on computers you know and trust.

Buy an external portable battery from a reputable brand.

Only visit official cell phone charging stations in safe locations.

In short, don’t risk your data or the security of your device. Based on the information provided in this article, be very careful where the charge you give your cell phone comes from.

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