Juice Jacking may sound like the latest bullying technique kids are using in the lunchroom to harass and steal juice and other beverages. However, Juice Jacking refers to the latest tactics used by criminals to install viruses and malicious software on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Crooks can also steal your passwords, credit card information, addresses, names, and other data. Attackers can also install malware to track keystrokes, show ads, or add devices to a botnet. The scary part is these attacks can happen in any public place where portable wall chargers or USB charging stations are available. How can you keep safe? Check out these tips that can help you avoid Juice Jacking attacks.
Juice jacking attacks can happen in any public place that offers USB charging stations. These places normally include airports, train stations, coffee shops, hotels, and other places where groups of people would normally gather with their devices.
With Juice Jacking, criminals take advantage of one of the popular features of your smartphone and tablets which is to allow you to connect these devices to your desktop or laptop computer to transfer information between the two. When you plug your gadgets into public charging stations, your phone thinks you're connected to your computer and allows the charging station and the criminals to access everything on your device. Once your phone is connected and charging, the attacker can upload malware to your device, initiate data transfers, or monitor your keystrokes.
Juice Jacking isn't limited to smartphones, criminals can access anything that needs a USB cable to charge. That means mobile phones and tablets, but also smartwatches, fitness bracelets, and even laptops (if they support USB charging – and many do).
There are several things criminals want to achieve with Juice Jacking. There are as follows:
The Installation of Ransomware. For criminals, installing ransomware is a good way to gain access to your files and data because it's a great way for criminals to scare you into giving up your information. If you were to receive an alert on your device saying that you need to call a number to get access to your files, you're probably going to do whatever it takes to remove the infection, including calling a number that's clearly from a bogus company.
Malware attacks. Malware attacks can be as simple as tracking your keyboard movement on your device and as complex as making a clone of all of the information on your device to be transferred to another phone in their possession. Once they have your information, they can commit identity theft.
They want to attack many devices. Criminals can install bots on your devices that are designed to get your user data, but these bots lurk on your smartphone until you hook into another charging port. Once you do, they can seek out other devices and install bots on other devices so they can take control of these devices as well. Beware, that other device could be your personal desktop or laptop computer.
Criminals can disable your devices. Cyber crooks can be downright malicious and disable your devices in a juice jacking attack the most prominent way to do this is to commit SIM Card fraud where a criminal gets your SIM card information along with other personal details. They can then call up your cellular provider and ask them to transfer your phone information to your phone. Doing so allows criminals to make phishing and other malicious calls from your cell phone to unsuspecting victims.
How to avoid Juice Jacking. If you want to avoid a juice jacking attack, the best solution is to avoid public charging stations. While it's convenient when you're running low on battery for your devices, it can become a lot more of a headache if you're unlucky enough to become a victim of this cyber attack. Things that you can do instead of using charging ports is to always carry a wall plug to use when you are traveling. Another good tool to have is a battery charging pack that will allow you to charge your devices when getting low on power. Finally, if you depend on public charging stations, you could purchase a 'USB condom' that will block the USB connections that are used for transferring data, and allow the connections that are used for charging. You can find battery packs and USB condoms on Amazon or any place that sells computer accessories.
I hope you can use these tips to prevent your smartphones and other devices from being hacked by cyber crooks. hackers. Juice Jacking isn't a widespread problem yet, but cybercriminals are always looking for ways to get access to your gadgets and information, so beware. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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