Juice Jacking: Coffee shops, Airports, and Hospitals

A long day out would most likely mean that your phone is low on juice. In the distance you spot a charging station, with new stations even providing the ability to place a phone in a compartment and lock your phone, it’s even more enticing to charge your phone. Plugging your phone into these ports might cost you more than you would expect: your identity.

What is Juice Jacking?

Juice Jacking is the transfer of not only energy, but spyware onto your device using any public charging station. Any device can be compromised, from a blackberry to an Android, or even a Apple product. The spy software can find its way onto your phone through the cord used for energy transfer.

Negatively impacting a phone via juice jacking takes a matter of minutes. Within no time a hacker could have access to all sensitive data and photos on your personal device.

How to Protect Yourself

We’ve identified the cause of the issue: the cord connecting your phone to the charging station. To prevent future regret it would be best to:

  1. Carry your own power bank
  2. Carry a “energy only” USB cord
  3. Carry your own AC adapter if not using an “energy only” USB cord
  4. Only use electrical sockets
  5. Put passwords on apps to further protect data

 

Been Hacked By a Juice Jacker?

It’s best to fix the issue immediately before your data is further compromised. After finding the issue, it is also recommended to report the scammer to the FTC, here.  

Juice Jacking has been around since 2011, with lots of media coverage. CBS has covered this spyware recently: 

 

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