Earlier this year the FBI issued a warning against public charging stations that could deliver malware and worse to your phone without your knowledge. Now, there’s a way to protect yourself with a special privacy USB-C cable sold by OSOM.
The FBI’s warning earlier this year told people to stay away from public charging stations over the concern of “juice jacking,” a practice where bad actors could hijack the USB ports to deliver malware or even tracking software onto your phone, tablet, or laptop when you plug it into what you believed to be a simple way to charge up your device on the go. But, inevitably, we’ll all have to use these stations at some point.
That’s where a new product from Osom comes in.
OSOM has today released its “Privacy Cable.” The USB-C to USB-C cable was originally supposed to launch with the OV1 smartphone, a privacy-focused device that was set to be the spiritual successor to the Essential Phone until it bizarrely became the crypto/web3-focused Solana Saga.
The cable works with any USB-C device and is rated for charging speeds of up to 60W with a braided nylon build that’s as premium as it gets; it is limited to USB 2.0 speeds, though.
But the appeal of this cable really comes from the physical switch on it which lets you switch between modes. One mode supports data transfer while the other only supports charging. If you switch to charging-only mode and happen to plug into a “juice jacking” port, you’ll be safe from any malicious intent. Of course, being a USB-C to C cable, you’ll need an adapter to get the most use out of this given that most public charging ports are still using USB-A.
The OSOM Privacy Cable is available and shipping today from Amazon for $30.