In a recent tweet, the FBI office in Denver warned consumers against using free public charging stations, stating that criminals have managed to hijack public chargers with the objective of infecting devices with malware or other software that can give hackers access to your phone, tablet or computer.
“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.”
When asked, the FBI’s Denver field office said the message was meant as an advisory, and that there was no specific case that prompted it. The method the FBI is referring to is often referred to as “juice jacking.”