The most common requirement today is charging the phones, because of the lifestyle the battery consumption is higher which leads to a dire need to charge the phones anywhere. In order to stay connected people resort to charging their devices in public places. As convenient as it might sound it is harmful as it can infect the device and rip off the data present in it. This type of attack on devices at public USB charging ports is referred to as ‘Juice Jacking’.
What is Juice Jacking?
When the security is compromised and linked devices get attacked by USB charging stations it is called juice jacking. The phones are hacked when they are plugged into the USB charging station for battery charging but the data from the phone is stolen through the same cable. It is extremely dangerous as people may lose important data, confidential information, or personal information. So, it either takes data and personal information from the device while charging or it can also put some malware into the device which will corrupt the phone. People are not aware of this notorious activity and they continue using the USB charging ports in public areas. For example at train stations, airports, etc. these common USB chargers are installed for the convenience of the public yet, it is misused to hamper personal space by taking advantage of the technology. This technique called juice jacking shows that no matter how much technology is advanced there is always a loophole to it which will cause a threat to personal life.
How does Juice Jacking work?
People are in a hurry and most times they forget to charge their phones, tablets, and laptops because of which they look for places to charge their devices in public places which is convenient. But this convenience is often targeted by hackers and spammers in the same way, the medium that people use to charge the device is taken as an advantage to extract all the data causing data threat to people. The off the shelf hardware is commonly used by hackers to install charging points in public places. The intention is very clear which is getting access to others’ personal information and making use of it. Once the cable is connected the hackers can get all the contacts information, photos, videos, emails, drive, WhatsApp, messages, etc.
How many types of attacks are there through Juice Jacking?
The prime reason for juice jacking is to steal, extract, and wipe off all the data from the connected devices. The hackers can use this to get all the confidential information like bank account details, credit, information, etc. whichever is identifiable with personal information. A simple way that these hackers use is cloning apps, these apps allow the hackers to copy all the data whatsoever to another device.
The major threat here is getting malware into the devices. The hackers ensure that the devices are harmed with malware which stays in the phone until someone notices it and removes it. The cyber attackers install any type of malware which may be adware, spyware, Trojans, ransomware, or crypto miner. This malware can destroy the devices by corrupting the system.
Once any device is plugged into the infected cables while charging these devices continue to contain the virus and spread the malware to anything that is being connected to it later on. For example, if a phone is a juice jacked and then the same phone is connected to a laptop or any other device then these devices also get infected. The users can get attacked for personal information, and financial information and this information is used by the hackers to exploit and harm the user. Also sometimes the user gets barred from using the device and the hacker completely controls the device.
How to avoid it?
- Being prepared for such occasions where the battery dies is the primary need. One must ensure that the phone is not critically discharged from the battery to avoid desperate situations of charging in public places.
- A power bank is a great source to help in these situations, it keeps the phone working and eliminates the use of public ports.
- Avoiding dangerous attempts of logging into pirated sites, using cables, and installing unknown media keeps the device safe.
Although Juice jacking is scary it is not so easy to hack into someone’s device in today’s scenario where the technological improvement is accelerating and the security protocols are stringent. Such things cannot occur in the present high-security public areas as the airports, metros, etc. utilize extremely robust security measures.