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In Security Last updated: May 22, 2023
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Juice Jacking is one of the most innovative and modern methods of hacking into gadgets like smartphones that use the same USB cord for data transfer and charging.

These days we only perform all tasks using our smartphones, from booking tickets to making purchases and everything we can do on our mobile. But with such continuous use, our mobile charging does suffer. As a result, we frequently run out of battery power before we can readily charge them at home.

Because of this, Many people use communal charging points. But are these public charging points secure?

The simple answer is may or may not be; sometimes, there can be some risk associated with using these public charging points. These vulnerable charging points provide a gateway for the attack known as juice jacking.

Would you like to get more information about juice jacking? Let’s get directly to it down below.

What is Juice Jacking?

Juice Jacking is a security flaw where the compromised USB charging points are exploited to attack linked devices.

Juice jacking happens when an attacker infects a USB port with malicious programs. That generally happens on public charging points you may find in airports and shopping malls.

The purpose of this attack is to covertly collect highly confidential data or inject malware into the device.

How does Juice Jacking work?

A standard method for transferring data is through the USB port. You can access and exchange data between the smartphone and the system using a USB cable. This causes your mobile device to be displayed as an external drive.

A standard USB port serves as a power socket for charging and a data path for transferring the data. So, users can exchange data when charging them with a USB cord. By taking advantage of this functionality, Attackers usually employ commercial gear that can be quickly put in a charging port of communal charging points.

This hardware was developed with the express purpose of bypassing security and getting access to data from connected devices. You will have no idea that your personal data has been compromised.

A USB port with five terminals is a prime example of a juice jacking technology because only one terminal pin is required to charge an attached device, and two of the other four terminals are used to transfer data.

The end user can transfer files between a mobile phone and an attached device using this technology while the mobile is connected to the power outlet.

Types of Juice Jacking Attacks

  • Malware Infection attack – Cyber attackers would use juice jacking attacks to gain control of the device using various malware, including Malicious code, trojan horses, spyware, and keyloggers, among other types of malware. The infection stays on the device as long as the user or individual doesn’t find and uninstall it. Your smartphone will be vulnerable to all of the adverse effects associated with malware infestations once it has been compromised, including security breaches, system failure, inconsistent internet connectivity, etc.
  • Data Theft Juice jacking attack – Juice jacking can cause linked devices to have their data stolen. The user is unaware that their sensitive personal information has indeed been stolen in this type of attack. Users may be at risk depending on how long a mobile device is left plugged into a vulnerable port. Attackers might even have the possibility of copying all the data on a device if given enough time.
  • Multi-device juice jacking – It can assault the same as malware infection attacks. Still, the only difference is that the malicious code installed on the user’s smartphone was engineered to corrupt the other USB ports when connected to charging points. By concurrently compromising several systems, the hacker can expand the intrusion and increase the payload.

How to Prevent Juice Jacking?

These are some measures to counter Juice jacking attacks.

  • Perhaps the easiest approach to prevent juice jacking attacks is to resist using communal charging points. Carry your power bank as a backup device to charge your mobile. Keep in mind that even places with strict surveillance aren’t always safe.
  • Never use the USB cable provided by the public charging station if the mobile phone needs to be recharged right away. Instead, carry your charging cable also.
  • Disabling system security measures & restrictions can leave your device exposed, therefore, avoid doing so. Since there is a chance that it contains malware, avoid installing any files or application that has been obtained illegally.
  • Finally, we advise using a juice-jacking protector or USB data blocker, as they certainly restrict an unintentional data transfer. These USB data blockers are an additional safeguard for your device while it is attached.

Wrapping Up

You should be very cautious of juice-jacking attacks since cybercriminals use open charging points to install malware or to gain total control of your device.

The most widely used tool in juice-jacking attacks is the USB Connector. USB ports inside the arcade control panel and adaptable backup power banks are other less prevalent equipment that could be misused.

Keep in mind that antivirus programs can offer additional security but cannot defend against juice-jacking attacks. Nonetheless, if hackers attempt to install malicious files, this installed antivirus software can stop malware infection.

Therefore, the next time you go on a vacation, be sure to take your rechargeable power bank, USB cable, and charger.

I hope you found this article helpful in learning about the juice jacking attack and Why You Should Avoid Public USB Ports.

You may also be interested in learning about the best URL Scanners to Check If a Link is Safe.

  • Ashlin Jenifa
    Hey there, my name is Ashlin, and I’m a senior technical writer. I’ve been in the game for a while now, and I specialize in writing about all sorts of cool technology topics like Linux, Networking, Security, Dev Tools, Data Analytics, and Cloud… read more
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