One of the worst things that could happen to any weary traveler is to have a phone that's running low on battery life. We rely on our phones so much that getting cut off in the middle of nowhere is enough to throw us into a fit of panic.
Thankfully, public charging stations in airports, shopping malls and coffee shops are sprouting up everywhere, aiming to quench the electronic thirst of road-weary gadgets that are on the wrong end of the battery percentage bar.
Convenient and life-savers, for sure, but are these public charging stations safe?
Not exactly. Similar to why public Wi-Fi hotspots are risky, plugging your phone into a random USB charging port in an open area is not the safest thing in the world. While most of the legitimate charging stations are probably fine, it is possible that some could be configured to install malware on phones or even steal data via a process called "juice jacking."
Now, security researchers from KrebsOnSecurity are warning everyone about an even easier way for data thieves to snoop on your phone while using a public charging station.
The researchers are calling this method "video jacking" and it exploits a smartphone's HDMI video-out feature via the charging port.
By configuring a charging station with special equipment that splits the video signal as soon as you plug in an exploitable smartphone, attackers could record a video of everything you do on the phone while it's plugged in.