Security expert warns tourists why they should never charge their phone at an airport

The security expert has three reasons why you should never charge your phone at an airport
– Callum Jones (via unilad.com)


A security expert has warned tourists against charging their mobile phones at an airport.

After many hours of checking directions, seeing where you need to go once you land at your arrival destination, and checking the time to make sure you’re on time for the flight, our phone’s batteries can deplete pretty quickly.

And especially with a lot of folks having their boarding passes on their phones nowadays, it’s quite common for a lot to charge their phones at the airport.

However, while these charging stations seen at nearly every airport now may seem convenient, a security expert is warning against it.



Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning against using public phone charging stations, including those found at airports.

“Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centres,” a warning on the FBI website states.

Jae Ro, from plug adapter manufacturer SIGNAL + POWER, has now been speaking about the same issue.

While these charging stations are simple and easy to use, Jae warns ‘the convenience comes with a huge security risk’.

“These ports can be tampered with to install malicious software (malware) on your device,” he told the MailOnline.

He added: “This malware can lurk undetected, quietly stealing sensitive information like passwords and banking details.”

A technique used by hackers known as ‘juice jacking’ is another reason why you don’t want to hook your phone up to a charging station at the airport.

This involves malware installed through a corrupted USB port which locks your device or even exports all of your personal data and password directly to the perpetrator.

The power supply and data stream on smartphones pass through the same cable, allowing hackers to take control of your personal information.



“Once infected, your phone becomes vulnerable not just at the airport, but wherever you take it,” Jae told the MailOnline.

Furthermore, charging your mobile phone at an airport can lead to unintentional data exposure.

And even if the charging station hasn’t been tampered with, your device very much remains at risk.

“Charging stations can transfer both data and power,” Jae said. “While phones prompt users to choose between ‘Charge only’ and ‘Transfer files’ modes, this protection is often bypassed with charging stations.

“As a result, your device could be vulnerable to data interception or exploitation. This stolen data can later be used for identity theft or sold on the dark web.”

You have been warned.