Why using public USB ports to charge your phone can get you hacked

The public has been warned to not use free USB charging stations as it can result in devices being hacked.

Jak Connor
Published Sat, Nov 16 2019 10:30 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

When you are traveling, whether it is throughout and the airport, to a hotel room or everything else in-between, battery becomes a problem you have to overcome. The convenience public USB charging should be all good, right? Wrong.

Why using public USB ports to charge your phone can get you hacked |

According to a new warning issued out by LA County District Attorney's Office, travelers should avoid using public USB charging stations in airports, hotels and other locations as devices connected to these chargers could result in the device being hacked. The scam is called "juice jacking" and its when criminals place malware onto the charging station and its cables and the leave the cable there for an unsuspecting traveler to come by and juice up their phone.

While the charging is occurring for the traveler, the malware might "lock the device or export data and passwords directly to the scammer." With the risk of having personal information scammed away from your device, the battery % you would have gained charging doesn't seem worth the cost. How do you overcome this new issue? Easy. Invest in reasonable portable chargers with a considerable amount of milliamp hours. Anker is a great brand, as well as Cygnet. A link to a great one can be found here.

Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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