Travelers have been told to be careful when plugging their smartphones and laptops into USB chargers.

Last Thursday, the official Twitter account of the FBI in Denver posted a warning:

Federal Bureau of Investigation tweet

“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels and shopping centers. Malicious attackers have found ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and surveillance software into devices. Carry your device and USB cord, and use a power outlet instead.”

Given how common it is to see people huddling around airport plugs, frantically charging their devices before embarking on long flights, the FBI’s warning has captured much of the media’s imagination. It is not surprising that the

juice jacking headlines

But here my question is…

Has anyone had their smartphone “juicejacked” in the real world?

Yes, I can imagine an attack is possible in theory. If you happen to be in the company of a bunch of penetration testers, chances are someone will try to trick you into plugging into a malicious USB port they set up…

…but in public? At the airport or shopping center?

Has the FBI (which kicked off this latest media round on juicejacking) actually seen someone hacked maliciously via a USB charger?

Dear readers, have you ever fallen victim to such an attack? If so, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message in the comments.

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Oh, and by the way, scary stories about Juice Jack are nothing new. Today’s Smashing Security Podcast For example, since 2019, cybercrime author Geoff White and I have been discussing whether it’s really a big deal…

Did you find this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter again Mastodon To read more about the exclusive content we post.

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the antivirus industry and has worked for many security companies since the early 1990s when he created the first version of Dr. Solomon’s Antivirus Toolkit for Windows. He is now an independent security he is an analyst and makes regular media appearances and lectures internationally on the topics of computer he security, hackers and online he privacy. Follow him on Twitter. @gcluleyfor Mastodon @[email protected]or drop him an email.



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