FBI Warns About Dangers of Public Phone Chargers

By Steve Neavling

The FBI issued a warning against using free public phone charges, saying they could give hackers direct access to phones, tablets, or computers.

The bureau warned that “bad actors” could use the charging portals to install malware and tracking software onto electronic devices. 

“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers,” FBI tweeted. “Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.”

Free public charging stations are becoming more readily available at airports, hotels, shopping centers, and bus stops. 

The Federal Communications Commission issued a similar warning about “juice jacking” in 2021.

“Malware installed through a dirty USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other bad actors,” the FCC said. 

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