A company by the name of Int3.cc has just introduced what they are calling USB Condoms, a small device that goes on the end of your USB plug to protect your data from “juice jacking”, which is when someone is able to steal your data through a public charging station.
Since most phones are set up to allow data transfer just by connecting to a USB port, the USB Condoms work by blocking the data transmitters and receivers of a USB port without blocking the charging components. Public charging stations, while seemingly innocent, often use USB ports that support data transfer. The chances of you running into a nefarious charging station may seem miniscule, but it only takes one instance of data theft or malware installation to ruin your day. Think of it like an ATM skimmer; even if the charging station is legitimate, your data could still be siphoned.
If you carry extra user-replaceable batteries with you or have a regular outlet plug, you don’t need to worry, but unfamiliar USB ports should be used with caution. It’s not always clear exactly who set them up or where the connection goes. Of course, a USB Condom could help calm your fears if you’re desperate enough to charge up at a public station.
The USB Condoms are currently sold out on Int3.cc’s website, but they state that they should be getting more inventory soon.
Will you picking up a USB condom when they get back in stock? Do you usually avoid public charging stations? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Int3.cc Blog