USB “condom” protects from mobile device juice jacking

A group of Georgia Tech researchers has created quite a stir at this year’s Black Hat conference when they showcased chargers capable of installing malware on iPhones, and have brought attention to a type of attack that is likely to become more frequent as mobile devices continue their market conquest: “juice jacking”.

The term “juice jacking” is a shorthand for the illegal downloading of data from a smartphone while it is recharging at a public, free charging kiosk.

But, apparently, there is a simple hardware solution to prevent your data being slurped from your mobile device. has begun offering USBCondoms, a small device that gets fitted between the mobile device needing charging and the random public USB port that will allow it, and whose effectiveness lies in the fact that it cuts off the data transfer pins in the USB cable and allows only the power pins to connect through.

“We all have needs and sometimes you just need to charge your phone,” it says on the manufacturer’s site. “If you’re going to run around plugging your phone into strange USB ports, at least be safe about it.”

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to buy the USBCondoms just now. The first batch has already been ordered and was set to be delivered yesterday. Its creator will likely start accepting more orders soon, as he recently commented on the interest his device created among users.

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