Charging Your Mobile Phone: New Threat To Data Security

USB DangerResearch indicates that mobile devices and the data they contain can be compromised by simply plugging into a computer using a USB cable.

Charging a mobile device by plugging it into a computer initiates a connection that involves an exchange of data between the devices. The amount of data transferred depends on the mobile device, but typically includes an abundance of identifying information. In addition, the connection not only allows the computer to collect your data, but it can also install unwanted files, including malware and ransomware.

The same risk is present when users plug into a public charging station. Plugging into a fraudulent charging station gives cybercriminals access to the mobile device via the connection. Shaikh Rafia “Charging Smartphones with USB Cable Could Lead to Data Thefts and Malware Infections,” (May 24, 2016).


Failing to keep your mobile device secure at all times leaves employers and employees vulnerable to data theft. With just a USB cord and a computer, a cybercriminal can quickly steal information.

Users can protect themselves by using only standard power outlets to charge their device and avoiding computers or charging stations offered in public spaces. Do not unlock your phone during the charging process, and install and regularly update antivirus software that detects malware files.

And ask DDM if you have any questions on how to protect yourself from this new threat.

Source: The HartfordHelp June 21, 2016

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