We all use USB cables every day – they’re what charges our phone. And why the simple act of charging it may not be harmless when in the home, if we do it outside and in public, there can be risks.
According to security firm Kaspersky Lab, not every USB port is safe to use. They say attackers can steal files and infect smartphones with malware over unsafe USB connections found in libraries, cafes and other public places.
USB ports can be used by criminals to extract data from smartphones or infect them with viruses that could potentially do a lot of damage.
The firm says locking your phone won’t help – the data will still be transmitted.
“To give you an idea of what can be done using AT commands: They enable an attacker to get your phone number and download the contacts which are stored in the SIM card. Then, they can call any number — at your expense, of course.
“All of the above is possible even if your smartphone remains locked!”, they said.
One way to avoid using a USB in a public place is to carry a portable charger that you have charged at home. That way you can keep your phone charged if you need it and you won’t be at risk.