Juice Jacking and charging in public places
Have you ever heard about juice jacking attack? what is it? how it’s happened? and how to protect from it?
A shared scenario between many is being in public with a dying mobile device, franticly looking for a charger. When coincidently you find a free charging station calling out your name. You find a solution, but have you ever thought about the risks of using these public charging stations?
The accessibility of these public USB charging stations is convenient but connecting your device to one can put you in a vulnerable position. With just plugging in your smartphone or laptop, you’re potentially opening up an opportunity for a threat actor to steal data or install malware all without your knowledge. This is known as Juice Jacking.
Unfortunately, many are unaware of this type of cyberattack and its associated threats. So, let us dive in to understand the risks of using public USB charging stations.
What is Juice Jacking?
Juice Jacking is “a type of cyber-attack involving a charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over USB. This often involves either installing malware or surreptitiously copying sensitive data from a smartphone, tablet, or other computer device”. So, as soon as your phone connects to another device, it forms a trusted relationship and pairs with it. Meaning the two devices are enabled to exchange data. So, while charging, the USB cord creates a path into your device that a cybercriminal could exploit. And recently, cybersecurity experts and the FBI have been informing the public of the potential risks of these stations, especially during the holiday season.
With borders opening up and many returning to traveling, the possibility of one being put in a situation where they’re in need of a charger is high. Now, these USB charging stations can be found in airports, malls, and even hotels, and some of these stations may have been compromised by a cybercriminal. But with almost 90% of people experiencing “Low battery anxiety” when their phone battery is less than 20%, this results in a person most likely using the station. Cybercriminals are aware of this, which is they infect USB cables causing two main threats to the victim’s device.
Types of Juice Jacking
–First is malware installation. There are times where an individual may connect their mobile device to a malware–infected USB charging port without realizing. Once the device is connected, the cybercriminal can install adware, spyware, trojans, or in some cases ransomware to the victim’s device without their knowledge. And according to a USB threat report by Honeywell, the rate of malwares transmitted via USB devices climbed from 19% in 2019 to 37% in 2020. Unfortunately, malwares can be difficult to detect, once within the system it disguises itself as a harmless function. But a way to identify if you’ve been infected is when you notice random notifications popping up on your device or if your device is losing battery quickly.
-Second is data theft. A cybercriminal could grant himself access to a phone once connected to a compromised USB cable, and this connection is only visible to the power provider which is the criminal. Meaning, as you’re charging your device, your private data is being transferred to the criminal’s device. Hackers are well aware that our mobile devices contain a plethora of personal information which they can benefit from.
How to Protect yourself
– The best thing to do is to avoid using these public USB charging stations altogether. But in the cases where you’re in critical need of a charger, then use an AC socket plug to charge your device.
– Check that your data-transfer feature is disabled in the settings on your device before connecting to any USB cable.
– Invest in a power bank! They are convenient and a reliable source of power for your device.
– Use a USB passthrough device. It allows for power to pass through but deactivates the data pin on the USB cable, reassuring the user that it’s only charging the device without any data being unknowingly transferred.
The need for your phone or tablet to be running all the time has become a prime need for individuals. This means you may run out of battery any second while you’re out but that does not justify you connecting your device to a random USB charging station. We truly don’t know as to what the USB cable is connected to, and it may be connected to a threatening individual. The risks associated with these stations are severe. So be smart and bring your own source of power to avoid being a victim to data theft or malware.
Also Read: Mobile Malware: 3 common threats
Be aware and stay safe!
Share this article:
The Difference Between Phishing Attacks Phishing attacks are harmful attacks used by criminals to steal personal and financial information from individuals and businesses. Attacks on individuals and businesses are becoming more common as we use the internet and technology more often in our daily lives. Phishing attacks involve the use of dishonesty and fraudulent methods to fool consumers into believing they are interacting with the trustworthiness of an unsuspecting destination, such as banks, email companies, or social media platforms. But what is the difference between phishing attacks? How can individuals and organizations protect themselves from such attacks? That is what ...17th Jul 2023
Understanding of the Vishing Meaning Vishing, a combination of “voice” and “phishing,” is a sophisticated form of cybercrime that exploits voice communication to trick individuals and extract sensitive information. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the meaning of it, the dangers associated with it, and effective methods to protect yourself against these malicious attacks. What is Vishing meaning? Vishing refers to the fraudulent practice of using telephone services to trick individuals into revealing personal and financial information. Scammers often pose as trusted organizations or individuals to gain their victims’ trust. By using social engineering tactics and manipulating ...5th Jul 2023
How could Artificial Intelligence tools threaten cybersecurity? As Artificial Intelligence Tools become more sophisticated, they can be used to launch cyber attacks that are more complex and difficult to detect. In this article, we will explore how AI tools could threaten cybersecurity and what measures can be taken to mitigate these threats. Artificial Intelligence (AI) became popular today, and it is one of the most important terminologies in our current era, though it has been around since the 1950s. AI relies on the development of systems and technologies that help to do tasks by the simulation of human intelligence ...11th May 2023
We are thrilled to announce that we are going to GISEC 2023 and would like you to join us! Visit Cerebra at GISEC 2023 Hall #4 stand SP62 in Dubai World Trade Center from 14-16 March. GISEC Global is the leading gathering ground for the cybersecurity community worldwide. Top cybersecurity enterprises from 40 countries, CISOs from major corporations across the Middle East, Africa & Asia, government dignitaries and cyber leaders, regional and international innovators, and global experts collaborated to lead cybersecurity transformations across sectors and nations decisively. Get a chance to preview our latest Cybersecurity products: PhishGuard is the Phishing stimulations solution that raises the employees cybersecurity awareness ...13th Mar 2023
Create a strong password easily! Today it’s very important to everyone who have an account either on social media or any other websites or services to Create a strong password, because you have to treat your password as your best stuff’s and protect it from others. Learn now the easiest and best tips you have to follow to make a strong password.. What is Password? A password is a string of characters that provides access to a digital system or service. It is a crucial security measure that helps to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. Passwords can be as simple as a word ...1st Feb 2023
Employees and cyber security The relationship between employees and cyber security this days must be tight and your company have to give it the right care if you want to keep your data and your business secure.. According to insights from our leading Phishing simulation tool PhishGuard, 58% of users in Saudi Arabia have opened at least one phishing email. These insights reveal that at least one out of four employees have interacted with a phishing email, either by clicking on a link or downloading a malicious attachment. In some cases, employees have gone further and submitted their personal information ...26th Oct 2022
We are happy to announce that our product LinQ2, has been chosen to participate in CITC annual Digital Technology Forum, in addition to being nominated for the Top Technical Product award. The theme of this year’s forum is “Enabling Local Technology Products“. The Communication & Information Technology Commission (CITC) has recognized our efforts and achievements with our enterprise messaging gateway LinQ2. As our product can seamlessly and securely process messages from and to applications and systems, as well as have the ability to integrate with different channels and connection options. We at Cerebra continuously strive to become one of the ...20th Oct 2022
Uber security breach by 18-year-old Hacker! Uber security breach proves that the largest companies can be hacked by teenagers! this news will undoubtedly shock you.. How Uber security breach happened? Uber recently experienced a cyberattack where an 18-year-old hacker accessed their systems by launching a successful social engineering attack on an employee. The hacker used stolen employee credentials to launch an MFA (Multi-Factor authentication) Fatigue attack. It is an attack where a victim receives multiple requests from their MFA application till it bothers them out leading them to eventually accept the request. The teenage attacker did not disclose how he ...20th Sep 2022
ECC & SAMA Compliance with MFA solution Do you know that there are a great MFA solutions in market today help your organization for ECC & SAMA Compliance? this article will show you how and we will provide you the most incredible MFA solution help to comply with Cybersecurity regulation in KSA.. With the world of cyber threats becoming more intense than ever, organizations need to comprehend the need for an improved cybersecurity framework. The universal goal is to protect the organization’s network from any outsider or insider threats, especially with the addition of remote work resulting from the COVID-19 ...29th Aug 2022