Reloading your smartphone on a public outlet carries risks – Geeko

At present, many people travel with their charger to deal with a possible shortage of battery. A situation that was answered by proposing public terminals, whether in shopping centers, train stations or airports. A boon for some users, but with a risk of inconvenience …

These public plugs are indeed not very protected and can be used for malicious purposes since they are actually simple USB plugs, the same as those used to connect your smartphone to a computer.

Security experts have identified and documented numerous hacking techniques based on the malicious exploitation of public charging stations. Hackers can change USB ports or leave USB cables compromised by
Malicious software near the terminals to infiltrate the phone and retrieve sensitive information. After that, they can blackmail their victims.

A serious problem

IBM Security estimated in May to 566 million the number of data leaks recorded in 2018 related to the exploitation of these public plugs. The phenomenon is taking on worrying proportions. There have been ten times more cases of hacking through this than in 2017. Now, public charging stations have become the second target of hackers.

IBM Security recommends favoring traditional plugs coupled with an entire charger to avoid getting "juice-jacker". Otherwise, you can always invest in a dongle, an extension that prevents the transfer of data in either direction. Only the tension can pass.