You may have thought that plugging your mobile phone into your computer to charge it up was pretty safe – in actual fact you would be wrong.
It is something that many of us do when our battery is running low but security experts from Kaspersky Lab claim that the actions could be enough to get your phone hacked.
According to researchers, if you connect the two devices information is naturally shared. This can include the phone’s name, the manufacturer, the device type, serial number as well as a whole host of other data.
The actual amount of data that is transferred depends on both the device and the host but basic information will always be transferred.
This information can be used hackers and was indeed used in 2013 as part of a cyberespionage campaign called Red October where hackers loaded malware onto mobile devices.
The information is freely available so hackers don’t have to be particularly skilled to gain access to it.
If you are worried about getting hacked when charging your smartphone with USB, Kaspersky Lab says that there are several ways that you can protect yourself:
- Use only trusted USB charging points and computers to charge your device
- Where possible, use encryption and secure containers to protect data. Protected areas on mobile devices isolate sensitive information such as passwords
- Always use passwords or fingerprint recognition to protect your phone and NEVER unlock your phone when it is connected to the computer.
- Install antivirus and malware software that has the capabilities of detecting malware whilst charging