Tuesday, 17 September 2013

USB Condoms keep your devices safe from juice-jacking ...!

First of all what is juice-jacking? Here it goes a simple definition:
Juice jacking refers to the illegal downloading of data from a smartphone while it is recharging at a free charging kiosk at an airport or other location.
A detailed explanation of juice-jacking can be found from here!

So it is, downloading user data from a smartphone illegally while the phone is left for charging at any public places like Airports, Cafes, Bars and other public locations. Most of us don't give a second thought while connecting our USB-compatible devices to a computer for charging them.What looks like a normal Micro-USB port could have a computer at the other end copying data from the device without our knowledge.

But how can we protect against this? Here come the idea from a community of developers focused on information security at  Int3.cc. The group has launched what it interestingly calls, USB Condoms.

The USB Condom is a sleeve that can be put on any USB port. It cuts access to the pins that carry data and only enables the device to access the power supply from the other device it's plugged into. The exact design of the device is not known as the website only offers circuit diagrams, but the invention would surely be welcomed by individuals and organisations concerned about data privacy,  especially ones connected with defence or areas where confidential data resides on employees' mobile devices.

It's compatible with USB Type A, USB-Mini B and USB-Micro B ports. The group claims that users can charge their phones on any computer or through public chargers without worrying about data stealth.

According to int3.cc, the device is sold out but it would be receiving the next batch of inventory for the USB Condom from the factory on Monday, September 16. The pricing is not available but reports mention that it would be sold at a low price point.

Next time you feel like hooking up your device with a random charging point, be sure to use protection.

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