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FBI Warns People To Not Use Public Phone Charging Stations



Phone Charging station

The FBI has issued a nationwide warning, urging people to not use public phone charging stations, which have become increasingly popular in places like airports and shopping malls.

The Bureau says that hackers have found a way to introduce malware and other software onto devices through public stations.

“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers,” the FBI’s Denver Twitter account said. “Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.”

The warning on social media mirrors the guidance the bureau offers on its website.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also issued a similar warning on its website, saying hackers are able to load malware onto the USB ports, giving them the ability to “maliciously” access devices. The agency calls it “juice jacking.”

“If your battery is running low, be aware that juicing up your electronic device at free USB port charging stations, such as those found near airport gates, in hotels and other travel-friendly locations, could have unfortunate consequences,” the FCC said. “You could become a victim of ‘juice jacking,’ a new cyber-theft tactic.”

The FCC warns that such malware can give criminals access to personal data and passwords, which they can use personally or sell to other actors.