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Airport charging stations put you at risk of juice jacking

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© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited You may want to think twice before using one of those handy USB charging stations that are so common in airports. Security experts have warned they could be targets for malware

By Annie Palmer, Daily Mail

You may want to think twice before using one of those handy USB charging stations that are so common in airports. 

Security experts are increasingly warning that using these public USB ports could put unsuspecting users at risk of 'juice jacking,' according to Forbes. 

Juice jacking occurs when cyber-criminals secretly modify the USB ports to install malware on your phone or slurp up your data. 

Scroll down for video 


WHAT IS JUICE JACKING? 

Security experts are warning of the risks of public USB chargers at airports, as they could lead to 'juice jacking.' 

Juice jacking occurs when cybercriminals secretly modify the USB ports to install malware on your phone.

They can also be altered to allow hackers to get access to sensitive data on your device. 

As a result of a compromised port, hackers could steal a wide range of data, including your texts, emails, photos and contacts, among other things. 

'Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth,' Caleb Barlow, vice president of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security, told Forbes. 

'You have no idea where that thing has been. And remember that that USB port can pass data.'

While the risks are certainly dangerous, there haven't been very many reports of juice-jacking occurring at airports. 

To be careful, experts recommend that users bring their own charger or a portable battery along on their trip to avoid using a public USB port. 

Additionally, there are other useful devices on the market that can be used in a pinch when there's no other option but to use a public charger.

© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited While the risks are certainly dangerous, there haven't been very many reports of juice-jacking occurring at airports. Still, experts recommend users bring their own phone charger

Users can purchase a 'USB condom,' which is essentially a piece of hardware that attaches to your USB and prevents data exchange by disabling USB pins and only allowing power pins to connect, according to Lifehacker

A USB condom might also be sold as a Juice-Jack Defender.

'It's a little dongle you can put in front of your charging cord that basically blocks any data from passing down the cord. It only passes the voltage,' Barlow told Forbes.

He also suggested that users avoid using a charging cord that's been left behind in a public place. 

They may also be laden with malware that can steal data or compromise your device.

'Now, if you see an Apple charging cord, you're likely to grab it or just plug into it,' Barlow told Forbes.

'But inside this cord is an extra chip that deploys the malware, so it charges your phone but now I own your computer.' 

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Airport charging stations put you at risk of juice jacking
Airport charging stations put you at risk of juice jacking
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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