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Juice Jacking – What is it and how can I avoid it?

Published on May 09, 2023

Juice Jacking – What is it and how can I avoid it?

Juice jacking is a form of cyber-attack that involves the unauthorized installation of malicious software onto a device through a USB charging port. It is typically done by placing a device between the power source and the device to be charged, allowing the attacker to gain access to the device and the data it contains. Attackers may use this method to install ransomware, steal data or information, and even hijack the use of the device. Attackers may also use the device to spread malicious software to other devices connected to the same charging port.

 

What’s the risk?

 

The highest risk for Juice Jacking is when you use public charging stations such as airports, hotels, shopping centers and coffee stations. This is because malicious actors can easily modify or install malware on these charging stations and use them to gain access to your device or steal personal data. Additionally, the cables used to charge your device may be tampered with and contain malware. To stay safe, it is best to be aware of your surroundings when using public charging stations, and to use your own charging cable and wall adapter if possible.

 

Any device that uses a USB port to charge could be at risk for Juice Jacking. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices.

 

How can I avoid it?

 

To help prevent juice jacking, avoid using public charging stations. Bring your own portable battery packs or use an extra cable and wall plug to plug your device directly into an outlet. Bring extra batteries if your device has removeable batteries.

 

Make sure your device has all software updates and security patches installed. Some cables are both data and charge cables, so if you are traveling, plan to bring “charge only” cables for your devices. If you plug your device into charge and you get a prompt asking if you want to “Share Data or Charge Only,” be sure to select “Charge Only.”

 

For more information on how to protect yourself visit our Fraud and Security Resource Center. You may also reach out to us with any questions by clicking here to view our Contact Us page.

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