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USB security audit

Passmark's USB3.0 test plug now supports detection of "juice jacking" USB charging stations.

Juice jacking is a term coined by researchers back in 2011, for when a USB charging port has been compromised in such as way to steal your data, or infect your phone or other device, or record video from the screen.

Public USB charging stations are found in places like cafes, airports, planes, conference centers and many other locations. In theory they should only provide power, but they can be setup to also surreptitiously read data from your device.

Starting from Firmware version V2.5 (4 October 2017), the Passmark's USB3.0 test plug will now report on USB enumeration attempts from USB charging ports. This allows auditing of ports to determine which ports are dumb chargers and which ports are something more.

Note: The current hardware production run (mid 2017) has firmware version V2.4, so a manual firmware update is required to get this feature.

LED Display - Data & power or just a charging port

The following images show the text displayed on the LCD screen of the USB3.0 test plug during various different states.

USB Loopback connected at 5Gbs

Normal USB3.0 data connection:

USB Loopback plug connected and transfering data at USB3.0 speeds, 5Gb/s

USB Loopback connected at 480Mbs

Normal USB2.0 data connection:

USB Loopback plug connected and transfering data at USB2.0 speeds, 480Mb/s

USB enumerated on a USB3 port

USB3.0 data detected:

USB plug detected a data connection attempt from a USB3.0 port. The USB3 enumerated message means that data lines are connected, but the plug is not setup by the operating system, likely due to the lack of valid device drivers.

USB enumerated on a USB2 port

USB2.0 data detected:

USB plug detected a data connection attempt from a USB2.0 port. The USB2 enumerated message means that data lines are connected, but the plug is not setup by the operating system, likely due to the lack of valid device drivers.

USB safe secure charging port

Charging port only (SAFE):

No data connection attempt was detected. This is the ONLY safe state if you are expecting the port to be a charging only port with no data transfer.

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