As we’ve become more and more reliant on our mobile devices, we’ve become more starved for power to keep them running! Whether its in the airport, mall or wherever, we see that battery percentage drop and we start to panic!!!! I was at an outdoor mall this weekend and saw people plugging in their phones without a second thought, I wondered to myself who or what is on the other end of that USB cable?
Then we see the oasis, a “FREE CHARGING STATION”!! Thank goodness! But is it safe?
This is where the real unknown comes in. Is this a safe place to charge up or am I going to get hacked?!?! Juice Jacking is when you plug your device into a charging station using their USB cable. What is happening behind the scenes is where the unknown takes place. Juice Jacking can lead to account and device hijacking which then leads to Ransomware in a matter of seconds.
With any luck you’ve found a safe haven, but possibly you’ve just given away your data, had malware uploaded and given away all your private information. Don’t be fooled by where this charging station is located, you can rent space in a mall for example install a charging station and if your intent is malicious, you are off to the races!
The safest solution that may not be the most convenient, it is to carry a charging ‘brick/AC adapter’ like you’d use at home and find an electrical outlet to plug in to. Even better is to carry a portable power bank, they’re not to bulky and are 100% safe. The most highly coveted thing for a thief to steal these days is your data/identity, and juice jacking is making it so easy for them.
This was brought to my attention by one of our most knowledgeable Security Specialists Sanjeev Multani of Nuvollo. He also sent me 3 great articles to read up on this which I’ve attached to this blog. He is a very skilled Cyber Security Specialist and I take his advice as gospel, he’s that good!