Security Experts Advise Against Using Public USB Chargers

Public USB ports could be infected with harmful malware that threatens smartphone data, according to security experts.

Caleb Barlow, vice-president of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM security, told Forbes that hackers sometimes install malware in public USB chargers, especially at airports. Unsuspecting consumers who use these chargers without protection risk compromising their phones.

“Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth,” Barlow said.

For consumers who do use these ports, Barlow recommended a particular product to protect devices from malware. The “Juice-Jack Defender” prevents data from passing through a cable while still allowing a connected device to charge.

Between 2017 and 2018, the transportation industry saw a dramatic increase in cyberattacks, moving from tenth to second in most-attacked sectors by cybercriminals. Financial services is No. 1 for cyberattacks.

Image by Pexels.

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