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Need to charge your phone? Think twice — 'juice jackers' might come for you
The U.S. government is warning of the dangers of using public, free cellphone charging stations, such as airports, hotels and shopping centers. The FCC put out a statement, and local branches of the FBI are also expressing concern.
That's because cybercriminals are using the USB cables at these charging stations to hack into phones while they're charging.
Cybersecurity analyst Brian Krebs first coined the term "juice jacking" in a 2011 blog post, to refer to hacking into phones to steal data or infect them with malware.
"Juice jacking is basically a portable charger or a charger out there in the public that's been designed to look real," says Jim Stickley, a cybersecurity expert, told NPR. "It will actually charge your phone, but it's also either installing malware on your phone or stealing data off of your phone or other mobile device."