On Nov. 8, 2019, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office sent out an advisory that warned travelers about “juice-jacking,” the practice of stealing information from or installing malware on phones while they are plugged into publicly accessible USB ports:
Travelers should avoid using public USB power charging stations in popular travel locations such as airports, hotels and other locations because they may contain dangerous malware.
In the USB Charger Scam, often called “juice jacking,” criminals load malware onto charging stations or cables they leave plugged in at the stations so they may infect the phones and other electronic devices of unsuspecting users.
Use an AC power outlet, not a USB charging station.
Take AC and car chargers for your devices when traveling.
Consider buying a portable charger for emergencies.
”Juice-jacking is a real security threat, and travelers should certainly take note of these tips from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. However, this security threat was not new in November 2019, and safety features have been added to iOS and Android operating systems in order to combat this sort of crime. Furthermore, little evidence exists that juice jacking is a widespread problem or even exist at this time.”