Juice Jacking: Genuine Concern or Media Hype

Image of a woman charging her phone- Juice Jacking blog featured image

As you step off the plane, you discover your phone is on the brink of battery exhaustion, which will make arranging a rideshare at your destination difficult. However, a welcome sight catches your eye – a public charging station awaits at the adjacent gate.

Charging a battery through a free public USB charging station may seem innocuous, but doing so could result in costly cybersecurity issues. Through a tactic known as juice jacking, a malicious actor can gain access to an individual’s device when they connect to these ports.

Since these charging stations are common in public places like airports and hotel lobbies, businesses should be cognizant of this threat. This is especially true of businesses with employees who travel with company devices and confidential data.

Continue reading for more insights on juice jacking and for tips on mitigating its associated risks.

Understanding Juice Jacking

Juice jacking refers to a type of cyberattack in which a malicious actor gains access to a device connected to a public USB charging station. Once the perpetrator has breached the device, they pose numerous threats, including the ability to steal data, load malicious software onto the device or disable it completely.

Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that it is not aware of any confirmed cases of juice jacking, it notes that it has been demonstrated to be technically possible. This is because a USB port can be used to both charge a device and transfer data. In addition to the FCC’s notice, the FBI’s Denver office also issued a warning about the risks of using public USB ports due to the threat of juice jacking.

Tactics juice jacking perpetrators may use include embedding chips with malicious software into USB charging ports, tricking individuals into using infected cables designed to look legitimate or utilizing hardware that turns the connected device into a Wi-Fi access point that allows them to exfiltrate data.

The Risks of Juice Jacking to Businesses

With employees often conducting business on portable devices, juice jacking poses a threat to businesses. If a malicious actor gains access to employee devices through juice jacking techniques, confidential information may be compromised and costly equipment can be ruined. Installed malware may also allow a perpetrator to steal credentials and gain access to servers or clouds with additional business information, and it may result in the continuous siphoning of data.

These data breaches can have significant financial and reputational impacts on businesses. They may result in the need to pay legal and regulatory fees, fines and penalties and erode the trust and confidence of partners, vendors and clients.

Mitigating the Risks of Juice Jacking

There are several measures businesses and employees can take to reduce the risk of being the victim of a juice-jacking attack. These include:

  • Provide employee education. Educating employees about cybersecurity threats, such as juice jacking, can help them be aware of these risks and learn how to mitigate them.
  • Avoid public charging stations. Avoiding the use of public USB charging stations is a surefire way to eliminate the risks juice jacking presents. Ensuring devices are adequately charged before trips and employing battery-saving methods such as darkening the screen display can help accomplish this goal.
  • Use AC power outlets and a personal charger. Bringing a personal charger and finding an AC power outlet to connect it to can allow employees to charge their batteries without having to rely on public USB ports.
  • Carry an external battery pack or power bank. External battery packs or power banks can hold enough energy to power devices, allowing employees to avoid public USB charging stations. Users should ensure they are storing and using these power sources in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Carry a charging-only cable or USB data blocker. A charging-only cable does not allow data to transfer, so users can add a layer of protection between the charging station and their device. Similarly, a USB data blocker is a small device that is plugged in between a user’s device and a charging port to prevent data transfer while allowing charging.
  • Check security settings. Individuals should review their device’s security settings to ensure they are not set to allow automatic data transfer upon connection to an outside device.
  • Select “charge only.” If a message prompt appears when using a public USB charging station, users should only select the “charge only” option. They should avoid selecting options to “trust the charging device” or “share data” and make certain the device is locked while it is charging.
  • Keep software updated and patched and install antivirus protection. Ensuring employees take standard cybersecurity precautions, such as ensuring devices are updated and patched and antivirus protection is installed, is essential in reducing the threats from cybercriminals.
  • Secure cyber insurance. Obtaining cyber insurance can help mitigate the losses associated with juice jacking and other cyberattacks. A licensed professional can work with businesses and help them secure the coverage that best fits their needs.

As cyberthreats such as juice jacking continue to emerge, businesses must remain informed and vigilant. It’s taking one of two extremes when learning about juice jacking — either thinking it’s happening all the time or assuming it will never happen to you. Instead, taking the middle ground is the smartest move. Because juice jacking is possible, it’s important to assume it may happen. By taking measures to address cybersecurity risks, businesses can safeguard their data, mitigate potential financial losses and protect their reputations.

Contact us today for more information and cyber risk management guidance.


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Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President | Director of Sales, Southeast Region

With over 15 years of insurance industry experience, Rob focuses on growing organic growth throughout the entire Southeast region for both Acentria Insurance and Foundation Risk Partners. Working alongside both executive leadership and territory sales leaders, Rob is instrumental in producer training, increasing retention and expanding our organizational footprint.

As a self-proclaimed Army Brat, he was born in Fort Benning, GA, but has moved 27 times and resided in 40 different houses… all before college! His father proudly served our country for 28 years! As a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Business Management, Rob also holds an MBA from Stetson University. A producer at heart, he specializes in large property, senior living, management liability and workers’ compensation. He enjoys meeting new team members and finds his personal success in seeing producers succeed.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 22 years and their two daughters. Together they enjoy boating, offshore fishing and exercising.

Mike Freeman

Mergers & Acquisitions

Leading the Acentria Mergers & Acquisitions team, Mike works with those agency principals and leaders who are interested in furthering a potential partnership with Acentria Insurance.  With over 35 years of finance and insurance experience, Mike and his team showcase the various benefits of partnering with Acentria. He works with principals through the initial phases to evaluate agency operations, books of business as well as planning and implementing fully comprehensive migration and implementation plans. He served 25 years in the banking industry in various executive-level positions transitioning to insurance in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer for Acentria Insurance. In 2017, Acentria Insurance partnered with Foundation Risk Partners where his major focus became leading Acentria Insurance’s mergers and acquisitions team.  

Mike is a graduate of Auburn University. He is dedicated to serving his community having held numerous leadership positions including Chairman for the American Heart Association; Chairman Mental Health Association; Chairman Destin Chamber of Commerce and Board Member for United Way Okaloosa-Walton Counties. Mike is a 27-year resident of Destin, FL and enjoys spending time with his wife of 35 years, Yvonne and their two adult children and their families.

Jenny Cirioni

Vice President, Operations
Northeast, Florida

Todd Lawrence

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President
Southwest Florida Region

Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Anne Kraus

Senior Vice President
Commercial Lines Operations

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Employee Benefits

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Agency Operations

Jessica Parkhurst

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Kendall McEachern


Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Mitch Weinstein

Partner & Co-Founder

As partner of Acentria Insurance, Mitch plays an integral role in mergers & acquisitions. He focuses on seeking out strategic like-minded partners and agencies, across the southeastern United States, to partner and join the Acentria family.

Mitch has over 42 years of business leadership experience that ranges from law enforcement to the finance, healthcare and insurance industries. He was instrumental in developing the nation’s first “at-risk” managed care network for physical and occupational therapy serving the worker’s compensation industry. This network paved the way for a new managed care system, based on incentives.

Mitch is passionate about giving back to the youth of his community. He is an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County and believes in helping all young people reach their full potential. He is also the founder of Fallen First Reserve which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financially assisting those family members of First Responders killed in the line of duty and military members killed in action. Mitch also serves on the board for Fund the First.

Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.