Expert Comments On The Use Of Public USB Charging Stations

Travelers are advised to avoid using public USB power charging stations in airports, hotels, and other locations because they may contain dangerous malware, the Los Angeles District Attorney said in a security alert published last week.

USB connections were designed to work as both data and power transfer mediums, with no strict barrier between the two. As smartphones became more popular in the past decade, security researchers figured out they could abuse USB connections that a user might think was only transferring electrical power to hide and deliver secret data payloads.

This type of attack received its own name, as “juice jacking.”

ZDNet has covered the story here:

James McQuiggan, Security Awareness Advocate,  KnowBe4
November 18, 2019
People need to be their own human firewalls for their smartphones.
Smartphones and tablets are wonderful devices and people rely on them for email, pictures or social media.Plugging into a public charger that has been compromised by attackers can lead to data can be stolen without the person's knowledge. This potentially can lead to identity theft, spear phishing attacks and damage to your personal reputation. Using a portable charger reduces the risk of losi ....
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Javvad Malik, Security Awareness Advocate,  KnowBe4
November 15, 2019
Setting up a malicious wifi hotspot is a far more effective way to intercept traffic in public places.
The risks associated with public USB charging ports has been known for some time. Although, there is no real evidence to suggest it is a likely attack method beyond a proof of concept. For many criminals, tampering with a public charging port can be a risky proposition which is not worth the effort. Setting up a malicious wifi hotspot is a far more effective way to intercept traffic in public plac ....
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