Details about Data Protector USB (Condom) – Protect your Smartphone Data and sensitive info from Juice jacking (Stealing) while charging at unknown places via power hubs or devices by blocking unethical actions.
Travellers know the acute pain of carrying a dead smartphone when they can’t find an appropriate place to charge their handsets if the power bank is forgotten while packing. However, if you are facing the same trouble, once home or in the hotel room, you can feed some juice to the dead phone from a power outlet, using a power brick, a laptop or computer and another rare option, using a VULNERABLE USB outlet, which will only require you to have a supported USB to Micro-USB or Type-C cable compatible with your handset. I know, the term vulnerable caught your eyes, and yes, unknown USB wall outlets found in certain rooms can indeed by vulnerable as long you don’t know who is behind the wall, or the system, the USB wall-outlet is drawing power from.
USB wall-outlets are vulnerable as the USB type-C or the Micro-USB port can be used both for charging as well as data transfer, and when you are connecting your mobile device to any such port, a computer, which might be offering the power has physical access to the data lines. However, that is software-locked, and data transfer will commence, only when you choose the appropriate option on your phone. Great, so what to worry about! But, the computer on the other end can use certain trickeries to sieve data using the data lines of the USB cable, or if there is some kind of vulnerability on your handset. As long as there is a physical connection, you need to worry, if you want complete security. This hacking process is called Juice jacking, in which hackers use the charging port to install malicious software or program into the victims’ smartphone, tablet, or other computer devices to copy sensitive data in highly stealth mode without getting the victim aware of it.
So what to do? You can stop using unknown power outlets at all, and that is the best option. However, if that isn’t the feasible option, you can use a USB condom, which can safeguard your data, when you are connecting your smartphone to an unknown USB wall-outlet.
So, let’s find out, what a USB condom is. I know, this term sounds interesting and this gadget can ensure complete peace of mind when you are looking for maximum security by plugging in your mobile for charging requirements.
What is a USB condom?
Talking about the physical connections of a USB port, there are 4 pins, where the pins at the extreme and are only responsible for powering the connected device, which can be a flash drive, mouse, keyboard, and the same can also be used for charging, in case of mobile or any other portable device. The pins in the middle are used for synchronization of the connected device with the host, and for serial data transfer. In the case of USB 3.0 or higher versions, as well, there are additional pins, for faster data transfer. A USB device can receive power, even if the data and the sync pins are not connected to the host system.
What a USB condom or a USB data blocker does is, it only allows the two pins at the ends to connect with the device, and it electronically disconnects the data transfer and the synchronization pins, which are responsible for a computer or any other device detect a connected USB device. So, neither the remote computer can sense a device connected, nor you will get the option on your mobile device to enable data transfer or USB tethering to use your mobile’s internet connection to access the internet on your computer.
How Data Protector USB will be connected?
The USB condom will be present between the USB wall-outlet, or the computer, it is connected to, and your mobile device. When connected, it will impossible for any computer on the other side of the wall to access your data at all.
Why get a Data Protector USB?
Even if you do not travel a lot, a USB condom can come in handy in a number of situations. Just imagine, you are at your workplace or college, and you forgot to bring your power brick. You can simply connect your mobile to your friend’s laptop to get your smartphone some charge, with the USB condom in the middle to never worry about your so-called-friend stealing your files. A $4 or $5 USB condom can keep you safe when you are travelling, and you want to charge your phone from a place, which you don’t trust.
Most USB condoms are even made from plastic and are transparent at the same time. With a transparent USB condom, you can see through the circuit to make sure the data and sync pins are disconnected within the device to offer you a secure way to charge your device.
Making your own USB condom: DIY solution
If you just do not want to invest a few dollars to purchase a USB condom, you can make this simple device at home, and you can save a few bucks, but at the expense of your time and energy, and depending upon how expert you are, in building circuits, connecting wires and that stuff, your final product might be fragile, and if you do not take proper care, you might short the cables, which can damage the USB port beyond recovery.
Still, I am here with the circuit diagram. If you have a good small box to put in this setup, you can make your own DIY USB condom.
Here is the list of things that you will need.
- 1 USB male and 1 USB female port.
- Two 1 cm. single-stranded wires (You can even use other wires)
- A small housing that can put all the things in
Yes, making a cheap DIY USB condom or USB data blocker is easy, if you know how to build circuits, and have the necessary materials with you.
USB condom Alternative
If you don’t want to purchase a USB condom or make your own DIY USB condom, you can get a charging cable, which does not have the data and sync wires, at all. Such wires can be used only for charging, and as the wires in the middle are not present at all, such wires can never be used for data transfer.
However, finding such a cable can be a real challenge, but you can get them when you purchase certain electronic gadgets like a Bluetooth headset or a smart band. Most people look for full-fledged cables, and that’s the reason, wires that are meant only for charging aren’t abundantly available for sale at stores. You can find gadgets that come with wires only for delivering power through a USB cable. The USB cable that I got with my Chromecast 3 is a cable that can only transfer power from the power brick or TV and not data. Just find such a cable, or you can borrow one from your friend.
So, getting a USB condom, or a USB data blocker, whatever you might call it, is going to be the best deal for you if you do not want to invest time making one for yourself, or you can’t get a cable which can be used solely for charging.
So that was all about USB Condom. Do you have anything else to say? Feel free to comment on the same below.