After going through the ordeal of airport check-in and security, passengers frequently find themselves with time to kill while waiting for their flights.
Many people use USB charging ports supplied in airport lounges or hotels to recharge their phones. However, the FBI has warned smartphone users to be wary of the possible harm these charging ports provide, as hackers can exploit them to spread viruses.
The FBI recently issued a warning to smartphone users to avoid using USB charging ports in airports or hotels because hackers have discovered a way to infect them with malware. The US Intelligence and Security Service’s official Denver Twitter account issued this warning.
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It stated: “Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centres. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices.”
The FBI issued a warning against ‘juice jacking’, where hackers load malware onto public USB charging stations, putting private data at risk.
The District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles had already warned against the practice. Through charging station hardware, cybercriminals can gain access to a person’s phone or tablet and jeopardize vital information. The FCC also issued a warning regarding infected USB cords that were left in ports.
To prevent becoming a ‘juice jacking’ victim, bring your own charger and USB wire to plug into an electrical outlet. Use caution when utilizing public WiFi networks in airports and other congested areas.
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