Charging iPhone at public outlets? STOP! Your data can be stolen - Know what is juice jacking | Mobile News

Charging iPhone at public outlets? STOP! Your data can be stolen - Know what is juice jacking

Do you use free public chargers regularly at airports, hotels? Beware as the FBI has issued a warning against a fraudulent activity known as Juice jacking.

| Updated on: Apr 12 2023, 18:13 IST
iPhone 15: 5 things that are tipped to be rolled out on launch
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1/5 USB-C port: All four iPhone 15 models are tipped to feature a USB-C port while replacing the years-old Lightning port. (Unsplash)
2/5 Dynamic Island arrival: Unlike iPhone 14 series, Apple is expected to bring the Dynamic Island to the standard variants of the iPhone 15 lineup too. This will be a big upgrade that will completely ditch the notch display from the flagship iPhone series. (HT Tech)
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3/5 48MP camera: Apple analysts believe that the iPhone 15 will receive an upgraded camera similar to the Pro version while getting a 48MP upgrade from a 12MP primary camera. (Divya / HT Tech)
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4/5 Bigger display: So far, we have seen the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 with a display size of 6.1 inches. However, several leaks suggest that the iPhone 15 could feature a 6.2-inch display. Also, all iPhone 15 models are expected to get slightly curved bezels. (HT Tech)
5/5 A16 Bionic chipset: Last year, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus had to settle for the old A15 Bionic chipset, while the new A16 Bionic chipset was an exclusive on iPhone 14 Pro models. iPhone 15 is expected to get an A16 Bionic chipset. (Divya / HT Tech)
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Juice jacking is a type of cyberattack where hackers can gain access and steal data on your iPhone. (Unsplash)

In this interconnected world, cybercriminals are getting smarter. New ways of scamming innocent people and launching cyber-attacks are being discovered almost every day. Cybercriminals often masquerade to be trustworthy companies, friends, or acquaintances and target companies through fake messages and calls, directing the victim to phishing websites. Although most of these scams involve installing an unauthorized or malicious app, one of these attacks just requires you to plug in your phone to a charger!

What is Juice jacking?

Juice jacking involves the installation of malicious software or cables by cybercriminals in public USB chargers located in places such as airports, hotels, malls, and other places. This is done to gain access to and steal information from mobile devices, as well as to track them.

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This type of fraudulent activity is becoming so common that now the FBI, the domestic intelligence and security organization of the USA, has issued a warning regarding juice jacking. CNBC spotted a PSA shared by FBI Denver on Twitter. According to the FBI, “Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices.”

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Whenever you plug a USB cable into your iPhone, a prompt pops up which asks if you wish to “Trust this Computer”. It only occurs when you plug in your iPhone to a PC or an external device. Carelessly tapping on Trust can give hackers access to all the data on your iPhone.

How to stay safe

Although Apple devices are safer than other devices in the market, they can also be susceptible to juice jacking if you're not careful. According to the FBI, you should avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centers. Moreover, you should carry power banks whenever possible to avoid using free public chargers.

There are data-blocking charging cables available too. These block any data transfer and only allow device charging. Albeit an expensive option, this could help prevent any data theft if there's no option but to use a free public charger.

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First Published Date: 12 Apr, 17:48 IST