Last week the following tweet was posted on the official FBIDenver Twitter account:
“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.”
Since modern Smartphones use the usb cable to not only charge but to also exchange data with other devices, it’s certainly possible for them to be abused. It even has a catchy name, juice-jacking.
Is this a widespread threat? Numerous cyber researchers have responded, while theoretical, they have never seen such an attack carried out in the wild. Maybe the FBI knows something they don’t? Regardless, it’s best practice to only use your own charger and cable while traveling.
Source: FBIDenver, GrahamCluley.com
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