Are public USB chargers safe or dangerous?

I saw public USB charging slots at airport. But are those safe to use as USB is pretty unsafe interface?

Or this?

I prefer own know to be safe charger connected to mains power. This keeps my devices safe.

6 Comments

  1. opera support says:

    It might be safe or unsafe. It is always preferred not to use public USB chargers. It is a very easy way to steal data from your device and the user of the device is unaware of this. I recommend everyone not to charge with these public ones. Instead, you carry power banks for your device.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Other public potential danger: public WiFi

    Simple Steps to Protect Yourself on Public Wi-Fi
    https://www.wired.com/story/public-wifi-safety-tips/

    Accessing the internet isn’t normally a problem when you’re inside the confines of your own home—it’s secure, it’s easy to connect to, and it’s relatively uncongested—unless the whole family is streaming Netflix on five separate devices. When you venture out though, it’s a different story. You can access Wi-Fi in more places than ever, enabling you to keep in touch or catch up with work from wherever you happen to be, but getting online isn’t quite as simple, or as safe, as it is with your home network.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    USB charging dangers and USB Condom
    http://www.epanorama.net/newepa/2013/09/23/usb-charging-dangers-and-usb-condom/

    You plug the smartphone into a socket and it starts charging – the same as with a flashlight or a toothbrush, right? But, in fact, there are some hidden dangers which you need to be aware of. Public charging stations help smartphone users, but also open a new avenue for hacking.

    When charging a smartphone from a PC, or connecting it to a USB port in a car or plane, we rarely consider the possibility that information may be exchanged, as well as power. Beware of Juice-Jacking is asking do you hesitate before connecting your phone to this unknown device that could be configured to read most of the data on your phone, and perhaps even upload malware?

    The easiest, and usually quite effective, way to avoid these problems is to switch off the smartphone completely before charging it and keeping it switched off until the procedure is completed. Usually this is not the most user friendly when you want to be on-line all the time.

    USB “Condom” Allows You To Practice Safe Charging

    USB charger meter with protection
    http://www.epanorama.net/newepa/2014/08/15/usb-charger-meter-with-protection/

    The functionality is similar to USB condom: just pass the charging power and do not allow any data communications. This is a good security feature because there are potential dangers when you connect USB cable.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Do you dare to use random public Universal Security Breach interface for charging? I would make my phone to stay faithful to my own charger harem. If need to use unknown USB, then use USB condom to be safe.

    Reply
  5. Ritesh says:

    Me as a user always preferred not to use public USB chargers cz of many reasons. I recommend everyone not to charge with these public ones, you carry power banks for your device.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why you should never use phone charging stations at airports
    https://nypost.com/2019/05/22/why-you-should-never-use-phone-charging-stations-at-airports/

    You’re waiting at the airport, your phone vibrates in your hand — but it’s not a text.

    “Low Battery — 20 percent of battery remaining” pops up on your screen.

    So, you track down the nearest free charging station and refuel your dwindling device.

    But, it turns out that decision might cost you more than a few extra minutes on social media before you board.

    Speaking to Forbes, Barlow said these ports could act like a passageway from your device to the charging station.

    “Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth,” he said. “You have no idea where that thing has been.”

    the transportation industry has become the second-most attacked sector in 2018

    “Now, if you see an Apple charging cord, you’re likely to grab it or just plug into it. But inside this cord is an extra chip that deploys the malware, so it charges your phone, but now I own your computer.”

    Reply

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