Ever wondered how celebrities nude pictures and sex tapes leak? Or how information secured in your phone got into someone’s hands? It could be through your phone charger or USB.
Public places like hotels, airports, planes, conference centers, eateries and parks have charging stations and wi-fi access points made easily available and accessible so people can always charge their phones and be connected. As usual, most people including celebrities flood those places.
The excitement is real. You will be in one of those places having your best twitter moment and your battery is low, but you have to keep tweeting, or that you are streaming a live programme and your phone’s battery dims warning signs. And situated next to you is a USB port or an outlet, so you plug in your device and feel the sweet relief of your phone charging while you catch up with the excitement online. What you don’t know is that you’ve made yourself vulnerable to be hacked. Someone – an invisible person- is collecting your data somewhere while your phone is plugged and their’s no limit to what the hacker can take from your device.
Next, that your excitement will be gone. You’re left shattered when you discover that the details on your phone and laptop have been comprised. Your credit cards details stolen and money moved out of your account, your nude picture or sex tape going viral on the internet. All orchestrated by an invisible attacker who had collected all these information while your phone is plugged into a hacked socket or that you used a random USB to charge your phone, move files from your laptop to your phone and vice versa.
“Just by plugging your phone into a [compromised] power strip or charger, your device is now infected, and that compromises all your data. The cord you use to charge your phone is also used to send data from your phone to other devices. For instance, when you plug your iPhone into your Mac with the charging cord, you can download photos from your phone to your computer.If a port is compromised, there’s no limit to what information a hacker could take” Drew Paik of security firm Authentic8 explained to CNN.
That includes your email, text messages, photos, and contacts. It’s called “juice jacking,” a term coined by researchers back in 2011. 2 years ago, the same researchers demonstrated “video jacking,” using hacked ports and your phone’s video display to record everything you type and look at.
You can still protect your gadgets by investing in a portable USB battery pack. You can also buy USB cords that don’t have wires to transmit data and prevent anyone highjacking your phone’s information. People can hardly stop taking these risks, Even we have something to hide in our phones.