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Juice-Jacking alert: Cybercriminals exploit public charging ports, tips to avoid USB charger scam

In response to escalating concerns surrounding the proliferation of cyber scams targeting unsuspecting individuals, government officials have issued a stark warning urging citizens to exercise vigilance when utilizing public phone charging stations in frequented locations such as airports, cafes, hotels, and bus stands.

The advisory comes amidst mounting apprehensions over the prevalence of the “USB charger scam,” a deceitful tactic employed by cybercriminals to exploit individuals who rely on these convenient charging ports while on the move.

Termed “juice-jacking,” this insidious technique enables hackers to clandestinely pilfer sensitive data or implant malicious software onto the devices of unsuspecting users. When individuals innocently connect their gadgets to compromised ports, they unwittingly expose themselves to potential data theft, malware installation, or device takeover.

To mitigate the risk posed by such nefarious activities, authorities have recommended several proactive measures for public awareness and protection. Citizens are encouraged to prioritize the use of traditional electrical outlets whenever possible or alternatively carry their own charging cables or power banks to circumvent reliance on public USB stations.

Additionally, individuals are advised to bolster the security of their devices by implementing PIN or password locks and exercising caution when pairing with unfamiliar or untrusted devices. Charging devices while powered off is also recommended to reduce exposure to external threats and minimize the likelihood of cyber attacks.

Furthermore, maintaining up-to-date software on smartphones is emphasized as essential for patching security vulnerabilities and fortifying defenses against emerging threats. Consideration is also given to the installation of malware or virus detection software as an added layer of protection against malicious attacks.

In the unfortunate event of falling victim to the USB charging scam, prompt action is strongly encouraged. Victims are urged to report incidents immediately by contacting the designated helpline at 1930 or submitting a cyber fraud report via the official website at



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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 10:57 AM IST

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