Smartphone charging kiosks have sprung up all over the public places such as airports and bus terminals. They are certainly a huge convenience for such users who don’t wish to carry around their smartphone charging gear. However, security experts have now revealed that charging your devices at such kiosks can also be quite dangerous.
The problem with the charging kiosks is that they can be easily manipulated by the hackers. The cable that plugs into your smartphone at one end and at the other end, goes into the back of the kiosk to connect to a power source can be intercepted by someone with malicious intents.
This person can somehow plug the cable into some other device and with the help of adequate equipment, can very easily access the data stored on your smartphone. Such a hacker with direct connection to your device can also write a malware straight to the phone’s OS.
In other words, not only can he steal all your data but can also wreck havoc on your smartphone. Coupled with the right tools, he may even be able to do so in real-time through a wireless medium, which makes the prospect of using a charging kiosk all the more dangerous.
However, there are ways to brace yourself against such attempts. The best thing to do when you absolutely need to use a charging kiosk is to simply turn off your smartphone, according to security experts. In most cases, data from a smartphone can’t be accessed if it is powered off. A better practice, though, it to avoid using a public charging kiosk as far as possible.
Source: Krebs on Security