Juice jacking is a common term that refers to compromising your mobile device through public charging stations, like those found in airports, hotels and coffee shops. Hackers can install special USB devices that contain malware in public charging stations.
How does it work?
When a phone is plugged in to charge, a piece of malware is automatically downloaded and installed onto the phone. The malware then provides hackers the ability to access your mobile device remotely and capture your activities, including email, online company files, banking credentials and much more.
Guarding Against Juice Jacking
The following are recommended safeguards to protect you from falling victim to juice jacking:
- If you see a prompt on your phone to “Trust this device” or “Allow this device to access photos and videos” when you plug it into a public charging station, immediately unplug your phone. Getting this prompt, when you are only trying to charge your phone, indicates that the charging station is attempting to access your phone
- Use a USB data blocker. This is a tiny device that connects to your charging cable and only allows power to be passed to your phone from the charging station
- Another option, if you do not wish to use a USB data blocker, is use a power-only USB cable. This blocks data from being passed to your phone from the charging station
- To avoid emergency power needs, you may consider buying a portable charger