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Privacy Tip #217 – Law Enforcement Warns of Juice-Jacking Scam

If , like me, you travel a lot, listen up—the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has issued an advisory as part of its fraud education campaign warning travelers not to use free USB charging stations offered in airports, hotels and other public places. 

According to the warning, “juice jacking” occurs when hackers have loaded malware into the free USB charging stations or plugs connected to a public charging station, so that when a traveler plugs in their phone, the phone is infected with malware, allowing the hacker to lock the phone, hold it as hostage for ransom, or forward sensitive information to the hacker.

Plugging your phone into an unknown device is not the best cyber hygiene in the first place, particularly when the charging station is in a public place easily accessible by evil doers. Take the advice of the the L.A. District Attorney’s Office and think twice before plugging into a public charging station.

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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...