Public charging stations are not always fully protected and can be used for malicious purposes. In the United States, the authorities warn against so-called “juice jacking”.
As a sign of the times, there are more and more public terminals where you can connect your smartphone to recharge it in case of an emergency.
In airports or stations, under bus shelters or in shopping malls, open access USB ports have increased in recent years to allow everyone to regain a few precious volts and continue to go about their daily digital business.
However, they should be used with caution. These loading points can pose a significant risk to the safety of your mobile devices.
Hackers can hijack them to infiltrate your mobile devices and retrieve sensitive information. The socket used to recharge a smartphone’s battery is the same as the one used to transfer data.
Many piracy techniques have been documented in recent years. Malicious people can modify USB ports or leave compromised USB cables containing spyware lying around.
Cases of hijacking of wall chargers capable of recording what is happening on the screen of the connected device have also been observed.
According to IBM Security, stations and airports are a priority target for hackers and have caused 566 million data leaks since January 2018.
The authorities in Los Angeles, USA, have recently warned against an increase in data theft by juice jacking. Cybercriminals infiltrate a charging station and install pirate software to infect a user’s laptop when they connect it to the USB port.
They can then transfer data and recover addresses, passwords and other information that can then be resold or used for phishing purposes.
Instead of these public access points, it is recommended to find a mains socket to which a charger can be connected.
Remember to have alternative chargers, car chargers or even an external battery with you to prepare for any eventuality.
Finally, there are devices such as Juick Jack Defender to place on the USB port that only allow power to pass through and prevent data interception. They can be found on most e-commerce sites.