Although they are extremely comfortable and serve us for almost everything, it is true that the batteries of current smartphones, no matter how good they are, do not last like those of yesteryear. To make it easier not to run out of battery at the least appropriate moment, in recent years they have installed charging stations via USB in public transport, airports, hospitals, etc.
Despite being as useful as they appear to be, you shouldn’t use them. Or at least not without take a number of precautions Or you could be exposed to what is known as juice jacking.
What is juice jacking?
La idea del juice jacking it was first demonstrated in DEF CON, a security conference and many of the attendees are ethical hackers, in 2011. At the security conference, free charging stations were announced. Anyone who plugged in their device was shown a warning message explaining the dangers of public charging ports. Despite this warning, some 360 people still connected their mobile phones.
Similar to what happened with USB sticks that were put on walls, which could infect the devices they were connected to, while you are using free USB charging services, if they have modified it, hackers infect your phone with malware and steal your sensitive data in a process known as “juice jacking.”
If you connect the mobile to the computer frequently, it is normal that you have it set to USB MTP mode by default and that the PC directly detects the mobile and allows access to the storage memory. Disconnect your phone immediately if you receive a file transfer message while charging your phone via a public charging station. As soon as you plug your phone into any of these charging ports, your phone could become vulnerable and subject to data theft.
It will also be possible for them to video jackingthat is, record everything that happens on your smartphone, every action you take, photo, video you see, email you open, conversation you have… can be recorded.
How to prevent this type of danger on your mobile
This attack requires you to connect your phone via a USB connection. It is not possible to create a malicious socket. Therefore, bring your own charger and use electrical outlets public is a much safer alternative in case you urgently need to refill your battery.
In the event that you need to use a USB type, a good way to ensure that the USB port is not going to be used to steal your data is to first plug the external battery into the public USB port, and then the mobile to the external battery and that it is loaded through it and not directly. The same protection element has some devices called USB blockers, usb condoms or Juice-Jack Defender, are adapters that are placed between the cable and the equipment and act as a shield.
Finally, we can take the precaution of taking USB cables that only support chargingso that, even if the public loader is manipulated, they cannot access our data.