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Michigan AG warns of “juice jacking” at public USB charging stations

juice jacking

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning people about the dangers of “juice jacking,” a cyber-theft tactic used by hackers taking advantage of public charging stations.

Ida Byrd-Hill is the founder and CEO of Automation Workz, a tech and cyber security training company. Byrd-Hill says you could be susceptible to Juice Jacking when plugging a device into a public USB port with your own charging cable, or when using an infected cable given to you by someone else. If this happens the personal data on your device could easily be stolen.

“Don’t use any port you don’t own,” Byrd-Hill said. “Most people have gotten so accustomed and trusting of the [USB] port, we don’t even think of them as being a mini computer.”

In a news release issued Monday, Nessel warned consumers about the scam.

“This is yet another nefarious way bad actors have discovered that allows them to steal and profit from what doesn’t belong to them,” Nessel said. “Knowing the risks and alternatives will allow [people] to protect themselves and their personal information.”

AG Nessel provided the following tips to avoid becoming a juice jacking victim:

  • -Avoid using a public USB charging station. Use an AC power outlet instead.
  • -Bring an AC outlet charger, car chargers, and your own USB cables with you when traveling.
  • -Carry a portable charger or external battery.
  • -Consider carrying a charging-only cable (which prevents data from sending or receiving while charging) from a trusted supplier.
  • -If you plug your device into a USB port and a prompt appears asking you to select “share data” or “charge only,” always select “charge only.”