ATLANTA - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about the potential risks associated with charging electronic devices, especially phones, in public places like airports and hotels. According to the agency, hackers have found ways to use public USB ports to install malware and monitoring software onto devices using them.
"The USB ports are used to pass for data. If they trust those to charge the phone, we are also trusting that the data can be transferred," said Rajiv Garg, an associate professor of Information Systems and Operation Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
The FBI's warning underscores a growing concern about the security risks posed by the ubiquity of public charging stations. With people increasingly reliant on their devices, finding a way to keep them powered up has become a priority, but this has also created an opportunity for hackers to steal sensitive information.