Experts have warned the use of public telephone charging stations as they can provide opportunities for your device hacked. Warning the use of juice station to charge the public telephone.
The practice is known as ‘juice jacking’ because data can be ‘jacked’, or stolen, when your phone is low on ‘juice’ and requires charging stations. Hackers are able to infiltrate your device by installing malware either in the charging station itself or in attached USB cables, through which they can access personal information like emails, passwords, photographs and messages.
Authorities have issued warnings about the trend in the past, but recently NBC News conducted an experiment to prove just how much information hackers can get access to.
Cybersecurity expert Jim Stickley created a homemade charging station installed with special hardware that mimicked the way juice jacking works, which he then set up along the Port of San Diego in Southern California – a popular tourist destination.
NBC News correspondent posed as the first victim and plugged her phone into the charging station before starting to browse through her messages and contacts. Through the hacking software, everything Nguyen did on her phone was mirrored and recorded on Stickley’s own device.
At one point, Nguyen made an online order which required her to enter her bank card details. In turn, Stickley was able to make note of her card number and security code; information which he could have later used to steal her money.
Commenting on juice jacking, Stickley said:
Depending on the vulnerability [hackers] exploit, they would have access to everything you would have access to on your phone.
In the four hours in which the makeshift charging station was set up, dozens of people stopped to plug in their phones. Naturally, many were shocked to learn the USB cables could be responsible for leaking so much of their data.