Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

'Juice Jacking' on the rise in public places

"The people trying to install these juice jackers, they're probably coming by really quick, installing it and then getting out of there," Daniel Johnston said.

MIDLAND, Texas — An act as simple as plugging in your phone can get you hacked. 

It's called juice jacking, and it's on the rise according to IT professionals. 

Juice jacking happens when you charge your phones in public places like train stations, hospitals or airports. 

Hackers install specific software or malware that steals personal information or hacks a phone while it's on the public charger.

Technology and Operations Supervisor, Daniel Johnston said it's important to take preventative measures against juice jacking.

"As more and more phones are out there and they're holding the most critical information of your whole life on there, there's more reasons to attack that and any way possible," said Johnston.

"With more people traveling there means there's more reason for you know people to attack and take advantage of people in a rush, people that maybe don't travel as often," Johnston said. 

IT specialists said the most obvious preventative measure is to not use the public charging cord. 

"Just plug in with your own stuff instead of using the stuff that's available," Johnston said. 

Other preventative measures include carrying an adapter cable with a power-only capacity, having a spare battery on you and making sure your phone has the latest updates, because those updates are there to help prevent things like juice jacking from happening.

And who exactly is doing the hacking?

"People that have something to gain, so it'd be people trying to get your banking account information, personal information," Johnston said. 

So make sure to stock up on your own charger cords this holiday season before you get juice jacked.

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