The mobile phone is on the verge of no electricity, and the public charging station in front of you is called a savior. But US prosecutors have recently issued a warning to remind you that it is best to think twice. The investigation found that from the airport's USB charging dock to the hotel's USB port - when you connect your phone, the hacker may have been waiting.
As the holiday season approaches, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office reminds travelers to pay attention to "USB charging station fraud." “Free charging devices may drain your bank account,” a prosecutor said this month. When people insert an electronic device into a USB interface or USB cable that has been loaded with malware, there is a possibility of personal information leakage.
Malware can infect your device through these ports, allowing hackers to take advantage of it. They can use this to read and export your data, including your password, and even lock the device to make it unusable.
Liviu Arsene, a cybersecurity expert at Romanian cybersecurity and antivirus software company BitDefender, said that USB charging scams use the fact that people's devices are out of power. He warned against using a USB cable that is already plugged into the charging station.
Vyas Sekar, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's security and privacy research firm CyLab, also pointed out that if an attacker has physical access to a port, it is easy to deploy an attack, just as they invade an ATM.
Although Alsena and Seka said they are not sure about the frequency of such hacking attacks, the increasing popularity of USB charging interfaces in public places such as hotels, airports, and trains increases the risk of such fraud.
If you have to recharge outside, the best way to protect yourself is to carry your own charging cable, charge it directly from the power outlet with the charging head, and use the brand portable charging treasure.
In addition, Professor Seka said that an additional protection device, the so-called "USB condom", can also be installed on the USB data line. This gadget can block data transfer between the device and the USB interface, charging only the device.