The FBI Issues Warning On Public Charging Stations
You are awaiting your plane and your phone’s battery is depleting. Most airports now offer charging stations for travelers making it convenient to recharge your devices before boarding. However, the FBI has issued a warning that those charging options can infect your devices with malware
The Denver FBI office recently sent out a tweet encouraging people to stick with your own charger and cable and not to use public USB phone charging stations. Their words are: “Never plug your iPhone, iPad, or Mac into any USB device or cable you do not control.”
The FCC carries similar warnings against using public USB chargers, warning of “juice jacking”–the practice of using public USB ports to load malware onto devices.
The Apple brand makes attempts to reduce this threat, but the protections are never perfect. Depending on how sophisticated the attack is, these prompts might be bypassed. A warning may pop up on your iPhone or iPad that reads “Trust this Computer.” Experts warn that if you see this, they recommend that do not select “Trust” and advise that you should instead immediately disconnect your iPhone or device. If you the warning “accessory not supported” pop up, they also advise to remove your device if this prompt appears.
“Juice jacking,” can be from the USB port or from a malicious cable–and they often look genuine. It is recommended to always avoid using any publicly available USB port or cable.
Use The Electrical Outlets
Experts report the safest way to charge your iPhone, iPad or devices in public is to use your own charger and avoid all public USB ports.
Advice For Protecting Your Devices Online
Here are some additional tips on how to protect our data and your devices.