The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned people to avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels or shopping centers.
In a tweet, the FBI said bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices. The Bureau recommends carrying your own charger and USB cord and using an electrical outlet instead.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also warns about the dangers of juice-jacking and says that malware installed through a corrupted USB port can lock a device or export personal data and passwords directly to the perpetrator. Criminals can then use that information to access online accounts or sell it to other bad actors.
The FCC notes that in some cases, criminals may have intentionally left cables plugged in at charging stations. There have even been reports of infected cables being given away as promotional gifts.