Your phone is running out of juice, but you are still in the outsides and need to make an urgent call or check Twitter and other social media platforms. What do you do next?
The answer, for most people is quite exciting: a free charging station. And they will not hesitate to plug their phones into the unknown device – prior to hooking up they should consider who that charger's been with before.
Indeed, the public charging kiosk is really convenient and helps people a lot. So you'll find more and more phone chargers pop up along streets and in restaurants, bars and other public places. However, the recent research at the Black Hat hackers' convention inLas Vegasproved there's a level of security risk associate with them.
Billy Lau, a Georgia Tech research scientist, with his team, released the new research demonstrating a way in which how easy it is to introduce a malicious app to a charging device, through the USB cable (which, at a public location, might be secretly hooked up to a hidden computer).
Their fake app looked like Facebook, but was really a virus, allowing the hackers completely access to the phone, and the ability to see everything the cell owners could see, including banking information, email passwords and text messages. They could eavesdrop on calls—and even place them.
“You don't know whether you are just charging your phone or if something else is going on. The possibilities are really endless,” Bill Lau said. “I would never plug my phone into a public charger.” For most people, although this demo is being presented in an academic context, but you still should pay more attention to this problem especially when you sent emails and massages to your boss, colleague and other big partners.
Of course, you can lock your phone for coping with the risk while charging at a public charging station, but password protection makes hacking harder, not impossible, unless you can find an available outlet, or completely power off your phone before plugging it in and have an excruciating and unproductive time.
The safest and best route for charging your device on-the-go is to take a portable charger always along, which has massive capacity but is handy and slim enough, such as Kinkoo Infinite One. It recharges your smartphone 4-6 times but is so small to fit in your pocket, handbag, and even hand. Most of all, it's only for you, not for everyone, and you can trust it as much as you can, without any security threats.