Public Charging Kiosks May Steal Your Data

Illustration for article titled Public Charging Kiosks May Steal Your Data

You're at the airport. You must send an important email. Your smartphone is about to die. Every outlet is being taken up by other idiots travelers. You spot a charging kiosk! You plug in! Now say goodbye to your data.


According to Krebs on Security, when you hook up your cell phone to a charging kiosk, you may be getting more than power. The kiosk could be configured to download your photos, contacts, email attachments, and other data, right through your data port. It could even be used to install malware on your device. This is pretty alarming because generally even security pros don't think twice about connecting to these things when they need some juice.

Generally the charging kiosks you find at airports will probably be safe, but those you find at malls and other public places... well, who knows who put them there, or what kind of software is running inside it? The best thing to do is to always carry are your charging cord that plugs into a regular old power outlet. I know it's not always convenient, but better safe thans sorry. [Krebs on Security via Boing Boing]

Image credit: Shutterstock/Cory Thoman

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You may get a couple laughs when you bust one of these out at the airport/library/coffee shop....that is until the next person with a plug realizes you area genius.