Stealing Photos Through Public Charging Stations?

We've all been there: a phone with a low battery, and there we spy a free USB port. Do we use a random port we find, or a public charging station?

To look into the question of data theft through public charging stations 10TV's Angela An consults with Interhack's C. Matthew Curtin.

Curtin talks briefly about USB, the Universal Serial Bus, an electronic pathway that allows for the exchange of electrical current and data. Going on from there to the mechanisms for protection of unwanted data exchange in mobile devices and their limitations, Curtin considers the risk of unwanted extraction of data at a public charging station.

Finally, Curtin shows various methods to prevent the attack by allowing only the current to flow through USB into the device to be charged. Devices converting electricity from wall and car electrical outlets are small and may provide the needed charge. Other devices, known generally as "USB condoms" are also available, providing electrical current flow through the device, without allowing data to flow.

About Interhack

Columbus-based Interhack Corporation is a cybersecurity firm in operation since 2000. The firm's work in cybersecurity, privacy, and forensic data analysis is used by organizations throughout the country to protect themselves and to understand the disposition and meaning of data in litigation. The firm can be found online at