New York (CNN) The FBI warns consumers to use public phone charging stations to avoid exposing their devices to malware.
Public USB terminals like the kind found in malls and airports are used by bad actors to spread malware and monitoring software, according to tweet Last week from the FBI’s Denver branch. The agency did not provide any specific examples.
“Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead,” the agency advised in a tweet.
While public charging stations are attractive to many when devices run low on battery power, security experts have for years raised concerns about the risks. In 2011, researchers coined the term “juice withdrawal” to describe the problem.
Just by connecting your phone to a file [compromised] Power strip or charger, your device is now infected, and that puts all your data at risk,” Drew Pike, formerly of security firm Authentic8, said. He explained to CNN in 2017.
The wire you use to charge your phone is also used to send data from your phone to other devices. For example, when you connect your iPhone to your Mac with the charging cord, you can download photos from your phone to your computer.
If a port is compromised, there is no limit to the information the hacker can take, as Pike previously explained to CNN. It includes email, text messages, photos, and your contacts.
“The FBI regularly provides reminders and PSAs in collaboration with our partners,” Vicki Meguya, public affairs officer for the FBI’s Denver branch, told CNN. “This was a general reminder to the American public to stay safe and diligent, especially while travelling.”
The Federal Communications Commission, too Update a blog post It warned on Tuesday that a damaged charging port could allow a malicious actor to lock a device or extract personal data and passwords.
According to the FCC blog, “In some cases, criminals may have intentionally left cables plugged in at charging stations.” “There have even been reports of infected cables being distributed as freebies.”
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