FBI warns against using public phone charging stations2023-04-10 19:22 by Daniela
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials are warning travelers and shoppers to avoid public free phone charging portals, warning that "bad actors" use these to install malware and tracking software onto computers and phones.
According to the agency, hackers have figured out how to gain access to cell phones plugged into the charging ports and can introduce malware or monitoring software onto cell phones and other devices. Free phone-charging stations are often found in shopping centers, airports, and hotels. Some cities also offer free charging at public bus stops.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also warns against their use on its website, saying hackers are able to load malware onto the USB ports, giving them the ability to "maliciously" access devices. The agency calls it "juice jacking." The FCC warns that such malware can give criminals access to personal data and passwords, which they can use personally or sell to other actors.
"Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead," the FBI officials said.
Another handy option is to keep a portable battery or battery case with you so you don't have to worry about plugging into outlets while avoiding public chargers.
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