Do you not carry your power bank while traveling? Do you often charge your phone, tablet or computer device in public kiosks? Then your devices are at great risk, as they may be infected with malware, hacked, or your data may be stolen.

There are several ways of stealing data or infecting your phone, tablet, or computer device with malware. Juice jacking is a kind of cyber attack and hackers can steal your data through a charging port especially over USB. The hacker may either install malware or copy sensitive data from your electronic device.

Juice jacking
Juice jacking at airportFacebook

American journalist Brian Krebs, who is known for his coverage of profit-seeking cybercriminals, first used the term juice jacking in 2011 after a proof of concept was conducted at DEF CON by Wall of Sheep. The informational juice jacking kiosks were installed to create awareness of this attack on the general public.

When users plugged their phones into a free charging station, a message appeared on the kiosk screen saying, "You should not trust public kiosks with your smartphone. Information can be retrieved or downloaded without your consent. Luckily for you, this station has taken the ethical route and your data is safe. Enjoy the free charge!"

You are at an airport, hotel, or shopping mall, or any other public place. The battery of your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is about to die. You don't have a power bank and you spot a free charging kiosk, you need to think twice before connecting your devices to the unknown charging port that could be configured to read your data or upload malware to your device.

You need to beware of juice jacking as attackers will make use of public charging ports to install malware to steal data or even to take complete control over your device.

Here are preventive tips

  • Carry your personal charger/power bank/backup.
  • Disable data transfer mode.
  • Your phone should not be paired with other devices.
  • Switch off handset before recharging.
  • Avoid opening Pattern lock/ PIN/Password/Thumb lock