Juice Jacking: Not Such a Big Threat?

ArsTechnica suggests Juice Jacking is more hype than threat.

This Ars Technica article does a disservice to users by wandering all over the place regarding the likelihood of juice jacking occurring. Another article, the one covering the recent RSA convention cited in Google, Apple and Microsoft: A password-free future is in the making (FIDO/Passkeys) - Software - MPU Talk, mentions an anticipated rise in juice jacking of public EV charging stations. So while I won’t lose any sleep over yet another threat, I will be thoughtful and cautious as always, in how I use my connected devices.

Even if we presuppose that the risk is zero (it’s not, as even the Ars article admits), I think that it’s at least useful that the recent press coverage has brought awareness to the idea that a device COULD do nefarious things if you plug it into your phone.

They talk about how the GrayKey takes significant time to break a phone, but my understanding is that GrayKey can plow through a 4 digit passcode in ten minutes or so - which would be more than workable for an airport charging station.

Would the average bad actor be able to procure and deploy enough GrayKeys for it to be a significant problem? Probably not.

But IS it a potential problem? Absolutely.

Is it a good reason to carry your own power bank so you don’t have to worry about this nonsense? Yup. :smiley:

I mean, if you walk out your front door and leave your apartment/house completely unlocked, what are the odds that somebody will break in? Even in high-crime areas, it’s statistically pretty small - at least on any particular day. But that doesn’t mean we don’t lock our front doors…right?


Or simply your own wall charger and charging cable obtained from a reliable source.

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Absolutely. I just default to “power bank” since a lot of times it seems outlets are unavailable and/or inconvenient to access when I need them.

Budget power banks that will get you out of a jam are available for around $10. And of course if you want to cover all of your bases, you can get power banks from reputable brands that double as wall chargers. They’re not that much money:


I see plenty of mentions of the security “risk” of public charging stations. I would be far more concerned about low quality cables or power sources creating electrical problems.