Hackers Steal Money By Planting Malware in Public Mobile Chargers
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Nothing comes for free.(Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)

Hackers Steal Money By Planting Malware in Public Mobile Chargers

A few years back, researchers at security firm Kaspersky Labs had found that hackers can install malicious malware and viruses into your smartphones via the USB cable of public charging station used to charge your phone.

They also discovered that information like device name, manufacturer, type, the serial number could also be hacked using the method called juice-jacking, a term coined back in 2011.

Scarily enough, the method is now actively being used by hackers, to steal money from people’s bank account. According to a report by India Today this week, few people have reported money theft, after claiming to have plugged in their mobile to a public charging port.

Until now ‘juice jacking’ was largely a theoretical threat, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Also Read: Public Mobile Charging Stations: Hackers May Steal Your Data

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As per the police sources quoted in the media report, hackers manage to install an extra chip embedded with the malware, which is able to access any phone’s details that are plugged in for charging. They also pointed out that such mishaps are taking place with users in popular market areas like Connaught Place and Khan Market among others.

It’s worth noting that USB cables that are used to charge devices, can also be used to transfer data from the same device to another.

This way, hackers can access photos, messages, videos, e-mails and contact details among others. 

There are smart ways of avoiding such incidents. Experts advice that users should ideally carry their own charging adapter with USB cable, or use their powerbank in urgent situations.

In addition to this, keep a vigilant eye out for any inconsistencies with your phone and follow these steps to avoid any theft of your data.

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Ways to Avoid Juice Jacking

  • Keep your phone fully charged
  • Carry a personal charger/power bank
  • Lock your phone while charging
  • Power the phone down while charging
  • Charge via trusted cables and ports
  • Update your phone to latest firmware

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