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Public warned of 'juice jacking' at public charging stations

Using USB ports and charging stations in public places could put your identity at risk as experts warn about "juice jacking."

“Ang juice jacking, galing siya sa salitang juice. Ibig sabihin 'yung power at jacking ibig sabihin hijack, so juice jacking, hina hi-jack 'yung device mo sa pamamagitan ng pagko-konek sa power,” said Art Samaniego, a Tech Expert in Oscar Oida's report on "24 Oras."

(Juice jacking is a process where your device is being hijacked as you plug it into a charger.)

“So halimbawa gusto mo magcharge, kumonek ka sa wall, pero sa likod meron nito tignan mo mangyayari, habang nagcha-charge ka may kumo-konek na pala di mo alam, ibig sabihin non, naka pag-inject na ako ng data papunta sa device mo,” Samaniego explained.

(As you charge your phone, it also connects to another device without your knowledge, and malicious data is transferred.)

“Lalo na pag tinaniman nila ng malware ‘pag nagtanim sila ng malware at ang malware na yon nagi-ispy o nagde-dedect ng mga banking transactions, financial transactions, wala na ubos ang pera,” he added.

(They could also place malware which can get sensitive information from your device such as banking transactions, financial transactions, and they may be able to take your money.)

A student named Anna admitted that she got worried when she heard about juice jacking.

“Very scary po siya kasi lumalabas ako sa cafes and lagi ako nagchacharge now na nalaman kong may ganyan very scary,” she said.

(It's scary. I go to different cafes and charge, and now I am worried.)

According to experts, to avoid becoming a victim of juice jacking, only charge in trusted establishments using the USB port. Checking the USB ports for signs of tampering and using a data blocker attached to the USB cable can also help avoid juice jacking.

Although this is already happening in other countries, no case of juice jacking has been reported in the Philippines.

“Kasi una, hindi talaga siya ganun ka sikat na method kasi ang hirap e kung sa airport kailangan mo maglagay. Kung sa coffee shop kailangan mo talaga magbukas ng ganyan,” Samaniego added.

(It's not actually a popular method to phish data because it is difficult to put in place.) 

He added that it's better to just use your charger instead of plugging your devices into public USB ports. —Sherylin Untalan/ VAL, GMA Integrated News