SBI Alert: The State Bank of India has warned its customers against plugging-in their phone at charging stations at various public places. The Bank has apprised its account holders of Malwarebytes (present at the charging points), which could infect their smartphone, giving online fraudsters a chance to rob off their important data and passwords including highly confidential bank details.

“Think twice before you plug in your phone at charging stations. Malware could find a way in and infect your phone, giving hackers a way to steal your passwords and export your data,” India’s largest lender tweeted.

Besides, the bank has also informed people about ‘juice jacking’, a USB charger scam could end up draining bank account of a customer. “Juice jacking, a USB charger scam could end up draining your bank account, the bank has warned. Be vigilant. Be safe”, the SBI said in a video.

What is Juice Jacking?

Juice jacking is a type of cyber attack involving a charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over USB. It is also called known as USB data blocker as it blocks the data transfer when connected to a mobile phone while charging.

Follow these safeguard your smartphone from Juice Jacking?

1. Look for an electrical socket behind the charging station
2. Carry your own charging cables
3. Only charge directly from an electrical outlet
4. Use portable batteries bought from known vendors

A few day back, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office had also issued an advisory asking passengers avoid using public USB power charging stations in airports, hotels and other locations.

“Travellers should avoid using public USB power charging stations in 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 station so they may infect the phones and other electrical devices of unsuspecting users. The malware may lock the device or export data and passwords directly to the scammer”, Times of India had quoted the advisory.