The FBI recently warned consumers not to use free public charging stations, because doing so carries significant security risks.
The FBI said the fraudsters were able to infiltrate public chargers so that they could infect the devices with malware that gives hackers access to smartphones, tablets or personal computers.
From phone charging stations in public places – The Arab Portal for Technical News
“Avoid using free charging stations at airports, hotels or malls. Bad actors have found ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software into Devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord, and use an electrical outlet instead.”
The FBI offers similar guidelines on its website for avoiding public chargers. The security bulletin did not refer to any recent cases in which users’ devices were hacked as a result of using public charging stations.
The FBI’s office in Denver said the letter was an advisory, and that there was no specific case that led to the warning.
The FCC had also warned since 2021 of what is called “jacking”, which is a type of hacking of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets that use the same wire for charging and data transfer, usually a “USB” wire. .
The goal of this type of attack is to install malware on the device, or to surreptitiously copy potentially sensitive data.
The FCC warned at the time that consumer devices with hacked USB cables could be compromised with software that could then extract usernames and passwords. The commission asked consumers to avoid those public stations.