Friday, April 5, 2024

Beware of Juice Jacking: How Public Charging Stations Can Compromise Your Data

 Recently, the FBI issued warnings for the third time regarding the risks associated with using free public charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centers. Despite the alerts, no specific evidence, victim reports, or attack scenarios were provided by the FBI. In this blog post, we'll discuss the concept of juice jacking attacks, how they work, and offer prevention tips.

Understanding Juice Jacking

Juice jacking occurs when attackers compromise public charging stations or seemingly harmless USB ports to install malware on your device and steal sensitive data. Here's how it happens:

  • The Trap: You're low on battery and plug your device into a public USB port to charge it, unaware that it's compromised.
  • The Attack: The attacker has tampered with the charging station or USB port, making your device vulnerable. Once connected, the same cable charging your phone can transfer malicious software or steal your personal information.
  • The Consequences: Your device becomes infected with malware, allowing attackers to remotely control it and access your files.

How It Works

Juice jacking can be executed in several ways:

  • Screen Mirroring: Attackers use cables to mirror the screen of connected devices, enabling them to interact with the mirrored screen using additional peripherals like a mouse or keyboard.
  • HID Attack: A cable behaves as a Human Interface Device (HID), emulating a keyboard or mouse to control the device without needing to see the screen.
  • USB Debugging: This applies only to Android devices and involves using ADB commands to interact with the device after authorization.


A demonstration using a Flipper Zero connected to an Android smartphone via a charging cable with an OTG adapter showcases how quickly malware can be installed and launched without user interaction.

Prevention Tips

To prevent juice jacking attacks, consider the following:

  • Use Your Own Cable and Adapter: Whenever possible, charge your smartphone using your own cable and adapter.
  • Enable Device Lock Screen Protection: Ensure your device has lock screen protection enabled to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Disable OTG Support and USB Debugging: If not needed, disable OTG support and USB debugging on your device.
  • Use Mobile Security Software: Install mobile security software that can detect and prevent malware installations.
  • Avoid Leaving Devices Unattended: Don't leave your device unattended while charging in public places.
  • Use USB Data Blocker Adapter: Consider using a USB data blocker adapter while charging to prevent data transfer.

While juice jacking attacks are possible, they can be easily avoided by adopting standard security practices such as using lock screen protection and avoiding public charging stations when possible. Stay vigilant and prioritize your device's security to safeguard your data from potential threats.


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