Think back to the last time your phone battery was low or completely out of juice. If you were not near an outlet, you likely pondered whether you could connect your smartphone to the closest USB port. However, the flaw with resorting to a USB is it poses the risk of infection through a cyber attack referred to as juice jacking. This type of attack relies on a charging port or even a compromised cable to obtain data from the connected phone. It is also possible to simply upload malware directly to the phone. The term “juice jacking” dates back to 2011 when Brian Krebs coined it. Below, our IT support experts in LA delve deeper into this unfortunate tech phenomenon.
About Juice Jacking
If you are not careful, you will accidentally infect your smartphone or other mobile computing devices when plugging it in for a charge. In fact, USB port connectors are designed with pins that allow for the timely transfer of data between the smartphone/computing device and the machine it is plugged into. If you do not make the necessary alterations in the settings, the data transfer mode will be turned off by default but for devices running on outdated versions of Android. The connection can only be seen on the end that does the powering. Sadly, whenever you connect your smartphone or other devices to a USB for charging, it establishes a path that transmits data between devices, creating the opportunity for digital miscreants to steal your information and/or install nasty malware.
Juice jacking occurs either through data theft that takes place during the charge or through the installation of malware. The data theft occurring during the charge occurs when information is pilfered directly from the device in question. Once the connection is created, it is also possible for malware to be planted to sabotage the device until it is eventually identified and removed. Our IT support team in LA can help you determine if your devices have been compromised and bounce back in the most efficient manner possible.
How to Combat Juice Jacking
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of juice jacking is to avoid public charging stations as well as portable wall chargers. Even if your battery is low, you must resist the temptation to use an unknown charging station. However, if you must use your phone, wait until you can find a traditional plug and outlet. If you are preparing for a trip, be sure to bring the proper adapter to connect to the power outlet systems. Additional options aside from USB include power banks and external batteries. When in doubt, rely on our IT consultant in Los Angeles for assistance securing your devices.
It is clear cyber threats of all different types loom. If you have any concerns, questions or need assistance in any other way to fortify your digital data and systems, reach out to our IT support experts in LA. Get in touch with us at Advanced Networks!