Cybercriminals have been getting more creative with ways to steal data and juice jacking one of the latest methods.
We’ve all been in a situation where we have to take an urgent call, and our phone battery is running low. Or that must send email, and our device’s battery is running at 10%. The problem has become so common that many airports and other public areas now offer public charge points, but how safe are they?
Using a public charging station could put you at risk of the latest cybercrime, juice jacking.
Juice jacking occurs when cybercriminals modify the USB points at public charging stations to gain access to the data on your phone. It works because the power and data streams for your phone go through the same cable, offering a way for a malicious user to access your device. This gives hackers access to steal all your information and pictures. Or more deviously, inject malicious code into your device, which would give them access even after you’ve unplugged.
So how can you avoid being juice jacked?
Keep your device charged.
Although it may seem like an obvious solution, if you know that you are going to be away from power sources for a long period, try to ensure that your device is full of juice. The fewer times that you find yourself away from your home or office with a low battery, the lower the likelihood that you’ll become the victim of ‘juice jacking’.
Carry a personal charger.
Using a physical charger socket means that you won’t be plugging a USB cable into a public charging station. Remember it’s not the charging that is the issue, it’s the chance of data transfer caused by plugging a USB cable from your device into an unknown source.
Carry an external battery.
Carrying a reserve battery or power pack means that you have access to a power reserve without having to plug in anywhere. Powerpacks are ideal if you are out and about and are a reliable way of charging your device. There are even power packs that double as phone cases and charge at the same time as your smart device.
Use a data blocker.
A data blocker is a USB dongle device that sits between the charging point and your phone. It only connects the changing aspects of the USB and blocks the data access. These are very cheap to purchase, easy to carry and yet, very effective. Cybercriminals are becoming more ingenious in finding ways to collect your data. Finding unexpected ways to steal data allows them to find assets less protected. However, in the case of juice jacking, following these types can allow you to bypass that risk.
Allteks has been helping organisations protect their digital data since 2000. Our Head office, located in Maidstone, Kent, provides IT support, IT consultation and Cybersecurity to organisations across the UK.
If you would like to take advantage of a 2-hour consultation to review your IT infrastructure or cybersecurity, please get in touch.