The Denver FBI has issued a warning via Twitter about a growing cyber threat that targets unsuspecting users of public USB ports. Cybercriminals have discovered a technique to introduce malware and surveillance software into electronic devices through these ports, often found in airports, hotels, and shopping centers.
The FBI advises against using free charging stations in these public locations, suggesting that users carry their own chargers and USB cables and opt for an electrical outlet instead. This advice is echoed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has also issued a warning on its website about the same danger.
Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead. pic.twitter.com/9T62SYen9T
The practice, known as ‘juice jacking,’ involves hackers uploading malware onto public USB ports, allowing them to maliciously access connected devices. Once inside, these cybercriminals can steal personal data and passwords for their own use or to sell to third parties.
In order to protect their devices, the FCC recommends that individuals always carry their own USB cable, which poses no such threat. By taking this simple precaution, users can safeguard their electronic devices and personal information from this increasingly common cyber-attack.