Federal authorities, tech pundits, and information retailers need you to be looking out for a scary cyberattack that may hack your cellphone whenever you do nothing greater than plug it right into a public charging station. These warnings of “juice jacking,” because the menace has come to be identified, have been circulating for greater than a decade.
Earlier this month, although, juice jacking fears hit a brand new excessive when the FBI and Federal Communications Fee issued new, baseless warnings that generated ominous-sounding information stories from lots of of retailers. NPR reported that the crime is “turning into extra prevalent, presumably because of the improve in journey.” The Washington Put up stated it is a “vital privateness hazard” that may establish loaded webpages in lower than 10 seconds. CNN warned that simply by plugging right into a malicious charger, “your machine is now contaminated.” And a Fortune headline admonished readers: “Don’t let a free USB cost drain your checking account.”
The Halley’s Comet of cybersecurity scares
The state of affairs for juice jacking appears one thing like this: A hacker units up gear at an airport, shopping center, or resort. The gear mimics the look and features of regular charging stations, which permit individuals to recharge their cellphones after they’re low on energy. Unbeknownst to the customers, the charging station surreptitiously sends instructions over the charging twine’s USB or Lightning connector and steals contacts and emails, installs malware, and does every kind of different nefarious issues.
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