Federal Communication Commission warns travelers of 'Juice Jacking'

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- The FCC is warning holiday travelers, be aware of public USB charging stations.

They're sending this alert out after the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said criminals are loading dangerous malware at ports.

USB charging stations can be found at airports, beneath your seat on the plane, hotels or other travel-friendly areas.

Editor at CNET, Ian Sherr, doesn't recommend plugging your device straight into a public USB charging station.

"If someone tampered with these USB ports and it's been compromised, they could load a computer program in there or they could have a computer on the other end that hacks into your phone," Sherr said. "Part of the reason for this is the cord you use to charge your phone or tablet is the same for transmitting data."

Sherr said there isn't cases of this happening just yet, but it's something the FCC wants people to be aware of that could happen.

"Trying to get this information -- it's not something to be proven on a wide scale at all. But if you're worried about such a thing, I wouldn't recommend plugging into a public port," Sherr said.

The FCC is recommending you plug into a regular outlet or start carrying a battery pack.
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