Cyber-security experts warning against borrowing charging cables

Published: Sep. 2, 2019 at 1:30 PM CDT
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A warning this evening around a new way for hackers to get your personal information. It involves the cables or cords you rely on to keep your phone charged.

"I would never do something like that, I would never take the chance," says Fargo Resident, Peter Parr.

Peter Parr is no stranger to identity theft. He is just one of the millions of people who has fallen victim to it and that's why he is very cautious and wary about what he does with his personal information.

"My phone was hacked through software," says Parr.

That's also why you will not find him using someone else's charging cable.

"Hardware can be installed in charge cords and thereby, access someone's phone," says Parr.

Parr isn't far from wrong with his knowledge on the matter. In fact, some cyber-security experts are urging you to protect your charging cables like you would your password. They say cyber-hackers have figured out how to implant malware into charging cables. Then, these hackers hijack your phone or other devices, like computers.

Those same tech experts say they're mostly seeing this in bustling places where you rely on your phone, like airports. Those are also the same places that often have USB charging stations.

"I would get it if I was plugged into a network cable," says Ellis.

Jarrad Ellis tells us he's a frequent traveler of the skies. He's from Ohio but is making a brief stop in Fargo. Right now he's using his own charging cables to stay powered up for his travels but that's not always the case. He tells us he uses what he can to keep his phone ready to go.

"I’m still going to need my phone charged," says Ohio Resident visiting Fargo, Jarrad Ellis.

As for Peter Parr, hes already learned his lesson the hard way through a different mode of hacking.

Now, he wants to share his insight with you.

"I would suggest no one use a public charge cord, it's just not worth it," says Parr.

On top of that, he says charging cords run pretty cheap now and that's why he along with some tech experts are urging you to always use your own.

Other places where you might need to borrow a charging cord is hotels. Cyber-security experts also warn some hotels have a drawer of charging cables that were left behind by guests. They say to never use them.