FBI warns against using public phone charging stations

If you're not careful, some devices could be capable of stealing your device's data.
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 1:35 PM EDT
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PHOENIX (KPHO/Gray News) – The FBI is warning people to avoid using public phone chargers commonly found in airports, hotels and malls.

A social media post by the agency’s Denver field office states, “bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices.”

“Hackers can put malware on these big charging kiosks, and you plug in and it could lock your system,” cyber security expert Adam Levin explained.

“It could crawl into your phone. It could get contact information. It could get passwords, all kinds of things. It can get data to transfer out.”

The FBI recommends carrying your own charger and USB cord and plugging into an electrical outlet to avoid “juice-jacking.”

Levin suggests it’s best to avoid using USB ports even on airplanes. If you’re going to be on a long flight, consider getting a portable power bank to charge up instead.