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Are USB ports on Night Stands Safe To Use in Hotel Rooms For Charging?

Are USB ports on Night Stands Safe To Use in Hotel Rooms For Charging?

Old Nov 14, 19, 2:18 pm
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Are USB ports on Night Stands Safe To Use in Hotel Rooms For Charging?

or are they a hacking Magnet?

https://www.news4jax.com/tech/2019/1...ging-stations/
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Old Nov 14, 19, 2:20 pm
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More careless users than hackerel.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 2:25 pm
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Don't most phones require you to unlock them for the USB port to be used for access, or can that be bypassed?
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Old Nov 14, 19, 2:35 pm
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I think if you unlock them while plugged in charging you are toast.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 2:35 pm
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I always use good old fashion electrical plug to USB, I never plug into a USB, common sense.

But again I generally tell people you are free to look at my phone and all the files, nothing to hide, but don't want someone hitching something my phone, afterall I do manage my retirement and CC on it.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:10 pm
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Unless your cyber security team sweeps your room before arrival and then secures it until you depart, do not, do not, do not do this.

Has nothing to do with the fact that it is a hotel as opposed to any other USB port.

Do not plug into one directly. Carry AC plugs for your devices, a travel power strip or whatever it is that you feel you need (although most properties offer both anyway).
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:15 pm
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Some airplane seats only have USB ports, no outlets for a plug.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by jr1202sr View Post
I have my battery pack (external charger) recharging on the USB clock currently.


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Some airplane seats only have USB ports, no outlets for a plug.
I think there is less of a risk on an airplane, especially a major US carrier.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 3:40 pm
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Itís an interesting question. Iím in the awkward space which recognises that USB plugs are both an undeniable security risk, but also one which I run on a daily basis for convenience sake.

On a similar basis, I often use lounge and other private WiFiís, but donít always bother to connect my VPN. I am absolutely running a risk which frankly I shouldnít be running, but thatís probably true for so many things I do in life...
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:21 pm
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There are USB adapters that pass through power pins but block the data pins.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
There are USB adapters that pass through power pins but block the data pins.

Here's a link
Amazon Amazon
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by EmptyKim View Post
Thank you. I never heard of this before. I just went to Amazon and ordered.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by njcommodore View Post
I have my battery pack (external charger) recharging on the USB clock currently.




I think there is less of a risk on an airplane, especially a major US carrier.
I don't.

Not one single cyber security expert will tell you that it is ever safe to plug in directly, even if you buy a supposedly safe plug as referred to in #11 .
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Old Nov 14, 19, 5:05 pm
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Wow, lots of paranoia going on out here. While a USB attack is theoretically possible, and may be possible with ancient devices, but anything modern shouldn't be affected. I don't know about AppleLand, but over on the Android side of the fence, your phone will prompt you for permission if a USB device tries to connect. Android's not been susceptible to this type of attack since early 2013 (Android 4.2.2). Even if you did 1) unlock your phone AND 2) accidentally click Yes to grant permission, you still have to 3) manually enable Developer Mode *AND* 4) turn on USB Debugging **AND** then 5) grant SSH permission. That's 5 steps, and enabling Developer Mode is a multi-step process involving hidden menus, so your average user isn't going to be accidentally enabling that.

FWIW, I use public charge ports without worrying about it, and yes, I'm the type of person that usually has a RaspPi ZeroW running as a packet/WiFi sniffer in my bag when I travel. I've never had a charge port try to establish a data connection.

The apps on your phone and websites you use are far more of a threat to your privacy and personal information than these theoretical attacks. You should see all of the things your phone does and all of the servers it connects to when it's just sitting there idle on the table. For those who are curious but not the most tech savvy, take a look at the Pi-Hole project. It lets you take a cheap RaspberryPi computer and turn it into a hardware ad blocker. BUT its logging and interface are very user friendly and you'll be amazed by what your mobile phone's doing without you knowing about it.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I don't.

Not one single cyber security expert will tell you that it is ever safe to plug in directly, even if you buy a supposedly safe plug as referred to in #11 .
If it's a charge-only cable with no data lines, then no data is getting through.... No real "expert" will say otherwise.

Now, the other issue is they could have something wrong with their power supply and fry your device.

Additionally, the cheap USB cables people buy can have electronics embedded within the cable themselves for nefarious purposes.
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