| Saturday July 26th 2014

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Should you use public cell-phone charging kiosks?


iPhone 4 girlBeware of Juice-Jacking, warns security researcher Brian Krebs. Those cell-phone charging kiosks in airports and other public places amount to an “unknown device that could be configured to read most of the data on your phone, and perhaps even upload malware.”

The answer, for most folks, is probably not. The few people I’ve asked while researching this story said they use these charging kiosks all the time (usually while on travel), but then said they’d think twice next time after I mentioned the possible security ramifications of doing so. Everyone I asked was a security professional.

Granted, a charging kiosk at an airport may be less suspect than, say, a slightly sketchy-looking tower of power stationed at DefCon, a massive hacker conference held each year in Las Vegas. At a conference where attendees are warned to stay off the wireless networks and avoid using the local ATMs, one might expect that security experts and enthusiasts would avoid using random power stations.


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