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Sunday, December 3, 2023

USB attack. Fraud. The Commissioner for Human Rights raises the alarm

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The threat of connecting devices to publicly available USB ports is a growing concern. Criminals can take control of your phone this way. The Ombudsman drew attention to this problem and sent a letter to the Ministry of Digitization. Material from the “Raport” program on TVN Turbo.

He recently drew attention to the threat of cyberattacks Ombudsman Marcin Wiącek. The Ombudsman emphasized that the so-called juice jacking, i.e. a cyber attack using the universal serial bus (USB). The attacked devices are primarily mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

– If there is anything inserted in the device we are connecting to that can transmit data, there is a possibility of stealing data from the phone, or infecting the phone, i.e. installing software that will allow us to gain control over it in the future – explains Krzysztof Szymański, press spokesman of the Warsaw University of Technology.

Threat of cyberattacks via the USB port

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The Commissioner for Human Rights sent a letter to the Ministry of Digitization asking for information on how to protect data available in government applications against unauthorized access and interception. This includes: o the mObywatel application, which enables the use of identity documents and handling official matters.

– About what systemic actions are taken, because of course we can protect ourselves by buying the appropriate cable, by pressing the appropriate button, but not everyone remembers about it. Such settings should be default, guaranteeing (safety – ed.) and protecting citizens by default – emphasizes Mirosław Wróblewski from the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Once our electronics are infected through a USB port, cybercriminals can do just about anything. – The attacker can obtain information about our location by reading data from built-in GPS sensors, or intercept conversations and even text messages, for example with authorization codes – says M.Sc. Wojciech Bobak from the Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu – National Louis University.

The Ministry of Digitization did not answer TVN Turbo’s questions whether and how before the so-called Government applications are protected by juice jacking.

USB chargers on buses

USB chargers are available, among others: on city buses in Warsaw. According to Adam Stawicki from Miejskie Zakłady Busowe in Warsaw, the devices are safe.

– We do not need to check these devices because they are only connected to electricity, they are not networked in any way, so the only possibility to infect these sockets is simply some overlay physically attached – says Adam Stawicki from Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe in In Warsaw.

– Our observations show that we have not had any cases of attaching such overlays – he assures.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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