No glove, no love.
The FBI and Federal Communications Commission are warning about the dangers of public USB charging ports — but luckily, someone's come up with a literal prophylactic.
As ZDNet reports, concerns over "juice jacking" — rogue charging ports introducing malware or draining your battery in service of turning your phone into miniature crypto mining hubs — are on the rise. In response, experts have come up with "USB condom" dongles, which can be plugged into public ports to add an additional layer of protection, just like a, well, condom.
The only problem? It's unclear just how widespread actual incidents of juice jacking actually are.
Neither these dongles nor the hacking technique they're supposed to protect against are exactly new, and incidents of "USB condoms" and "juice jacking" media mentions go back as far as 2011, as the cybersecurity firm Reversing Labs noted in a recent blog post about the phenomenon.
Reversing Labs isn't the only entity in the cybersecurity space that is skeptical of the claims. We were able to find at least two other experts who expressed misgivings about the FBI's warning.
A public charging kiosk and the Philadelphia international airport also issued statements claiming that the FBI's concerns are overblown, CBS News reports.
Nonetheless, it's better to be safe than sorry. It's pretty freaky to imagine someone stealing your battery to mine crypto or worse, installing malware on your phone that could steal your money.
While we can't exactly vouch for these "USB condoms," it's probably best not to plug your phone into public ports at all — and bring your own external charger the next time you leave the house.
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