Cell Phone charging in public areas beware ‘‘Juice Jacking’’ is on the rise. What is juice jacking?
When you visit your local shopping mall or airport you will now see cell phone charging stations. Most people think wow it’s nice to not have my power connector I can just plug in my cell phone cable.
WRONG never uses a power station or power supply anywhere without a power plus power source. The Concept is simple, Leading smartphones on the market have been designed to utilize the same port for charging the phone as data transfer. This opens the opportunity to trick a user in need of a charge to expose their phone’s data port.
For example, if you were at the airport and searching for power for your phone and a stranger offered to let you plug in your cell phone to their laptop for power, would you? No I didn’t think so but why not maybe the computer will download all your private information? Well the Juice Jackers have found a way to do just this all they are waiting for is you to plug into a power charging station.
Many companies have these USB ports connections to a central computer so they can monitor if they have a connection issue for tech support. An example may be they monitor for a broken non-working port. Some monitor how many users plugin so they can see if people are really using them and how often. They have access to all your data.
Its November here in South East Asia Thailand I was visiting a central shopping mall and they have table after table that has power and USB charging plugs all over them for mall visitors to use the tables to connect and do work. This brings in many people that don’t have offices so they stay all day buy food from the food courts and shop in the mall.
I have seen 3 types of charging stations first is the plugin large flat tables at the malls everywhere with power connections and charging ports in the center of the table everyone is plugged in.
The next type was what appeared to be a kiosk of small lockers with very fine holes in it you put your phone in it and connect the USB port inside the small locker and charging starts then pull the locker key out and the phone is secure while you are shopping. But is it really safe. NO WAY!
I looked at the cables coming from the small setup I could see a power cable and that’s all that should be needed to deliver power but there was also a cat 5 network cable. Red flags! why are they trying to transmit data may be for stats on how many people use it? Well, let’s see someone has access to this connection so they could use this to view and download everything on your phone.
The last type of connection was at 3 different airports in the USA I also found China, Japan, Costa Rica and here in Thailand had the charging stations. The airports all have power stations and many of these stations are just a long cable with many links off of the USB cable so with a small piece of software it is very easy to access all the people that are connected to the same power station but only the people that connected via USB port.