The FBI Cautions People Against Using Public Phone Charging Stations: What To Know

The FBI informs consumers not to using public phone charging stations in order to minimize their devices’ exposure to malicious software.

When your electronic devices are low on power, the quickest fix may be to locate free public charging stations.

Well, according to a few university students from the Island, some places can be trusted more than others.

According to a tweet from the FBI’s Denver branch last week, malicious actors are using public USB ports like those found at shopping centres and airports to spread malware and spying software. No specific examples were offered by the agency.

The FBI advises individuals to carry their own device and USB cable so they can connect it directly to an outlet while travelling rather than using a charging station to keep their devices charged.

The cord you use to charge your phone can also be used to transfer data to other gadgets. You can upload a photo from your phone to your computer, for instance, when you plug your iPhone’s charging cable into your Mac.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, this hacking trend is known as “Juice Jacking.” The FCC has added advice for travellers, advising them to buy charging-only cables that can’t transfer data and to pay attention to prompts that say “share data” or “charge only” when using a USB port.

In their alert, the FCC cautions that malware installed through a damaged USB port “can shut a device or transfer personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator”.

Jeff Rossen, the host of “Rossen Reports,” a consumer investigative series that airs on numerous television news programmes across the United States, recently covered the “juice jacking” craze by demonstrating in real-time how a hacking group can from anywhere inject a mobile device with malware that can take control of the gadget and collect personal data.

Along with the “Juice Jacking” craze, the FBI has previously issued warnings about digital security while travelling. The FBI has published advice for travellers who must use public WiFi networks and discourages using hotel wifi for work-related projects. The advice includes making sure all devices have the most recent software and firmware installed, as well as using a phone’s wireless hotspot rather than the hotel WiFi.

The FBI has released a “Student Travel Safety Brochure” with useful security advice for students going abroad, such as changing sensitive passwords after travel and being watchful for online spam email attempts that aim to steal data.

According to Paik, who previously spoke to CNN, if a port is damaged, a hacker can access any data. This includes all of your emails, texts, pictures, and contacts.

According to Vikki Migoya, public affairs officer at the FBI’s Denver branch, “The FBI continues to offer reminders and public service announcements in conjunction with our partners.” The general public in America was reminded to exercise caution and safety, especially when travelling.

Also Read | Trump sues the US government over the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago

Riya Kapoor

An English Hons graduate from Delhi University who has a strong passion for writing,reading and bringing out life to the words she pens. Khushi Sabharwal is a selectively extrovert person who opens her heart out only to the people that match her aura.She has a strong vision of her own and wants to make sure she achieves everything that she dreams about.She has been working as a content writer for the past few years and has worked with some prominent news websites like She has contributed to the organization in terms of women-centric motivational pieces, stories, real time based news pieces and entertainment listicles and news. She has expertise in tech, entertainment and real time based news pieces.

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