Taking Back the ID

‘Juice jacking’ plus music gift cards

Kelby Dominic worked hard all year, so she always looked forward to her vacation. Her excitement escalated the closer she was to departure. After checking in at the airport she noticed that her smartphone needed charging. She ponied up to a “free” charging station  that provided USB ports for charging personal devices and charged her phone before boarding the plane. When she arrived at her hotel she checked her bank account and saw that the balance was wiped out. She quickly notified her bank, which informed her that her account number and probably other personally identifiable information (PII) had been compromised. But how?

When Kelby got home, she reported it to the police. A police officer, who began to track her behavior before she arrived at the vacation hotel, asked her if she’d charged her smartphone at the airport. She said that she had. The officer told Kelby that she was probably a victim of “juice jacking.”

A charge that will cost you

This is a fictitious case, but it’s a common example of a new scheme. Juice jacking is a form of cyberattack in which a malicious hacker can gain access to personal or sensitive corporate data stored on a personal or business-issued mobile device or inject malicious code into it when an unsuspecting victim uses a compromised public charging station at an airport, business center or hotel at a conference or other public place. All travelers, especially frequent ones, are at a heightened risk of this type of data breach that can lead to increased identity theft activity.

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