There is no such thing as a free lunch. A free electric current can only be found on an electric chair.
Imagine that you are in a public place, some kind of a train station, for instance, and you are damn hungry. And right in the middle of the waiting area, on a chair, lies a delicious burrito. Will you eat it?
Dozens of urban legends, the lengthy sermons of your grandmother, and articles about the spread of the coronavirus should have made you a skeptic, or rather a super skeptic. It is unlikely that you dare to even move this burrito with your foot for fear of catching some kind of infection and falling in love with anime at the same time.
This juicy burrito in a public place is an exact analogy of what you do with your smartphone when you charge it using public USB ports. Hackers have long noticed that people who urgently need to charge something will recklessly "stick" their devices into any available USB port. The hacker method of attacking smartphones is called juice jacking, and such attacks are of great concern to experts around the world.
Here are five main things you need to know about juice jacking:
- This is a relatively new type of hacker attack that not many people know about. But you are reading this article, which means you are already doing well and are one step ahead.
- Android users are at increased risk. Especially those who have outdated smartphones that are not subject to system updates for a year or more. In this case, you should not use public USB charging ports under any circumstances.
- iPhone users should not loosen up and feel like there’s no threat to them. The iOS system has built-in protection, and it will ask you, “Trust this computer?” once the USB cable is connected. By answering “yes,” you literally eat that burrito from the station.
- The easiest way to avoid juice jacking is to carry a spare compact power bank and recharge it at public ports if necessary. And it’s the power bank that you should charge your smartphone from afterwards.
- There is a similar version of such a hacker attack only for computers – it’s flash drives left in public places. If you find one, do not insert it into your computer. Even if it says "my nudes." Especially if it says "my nudes," really.