Free Phone Charging Stations just became the latest corruption hotspot.
The FBI is warning everyone to avoid using unfamiliar, public power cords available in shared spaces. This generally includes any unmonitored charging station offering free power for your phone. An unassuming power cord can do more than reup your battery life, if could connect to your phone’s data and cause a big security risk.
The Bureau shared a message that read: “Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. 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.”
Reports on CNBC.com point out that the message was meant as an advisory, not a response to any specific case.
Compromised cables can infect consumer devices with malware, or software that can in turn provide hackers to access other devices as well as usernames and passwords.
The solution? Carry your own USB cables to plug into outlets or invest in a portable charger.