Charging your phone through an unfamiliar USB port can lead to some nasty surprises on your device, but a new attachment called the USB Condom should be able to keep it safe. Made by int3.cc, the protective layer fits on top of a USB plug and cuts off access to the pins that allow it to transmit and receive data. Only the pins that allow the plug to receive power are left open, so that a device can charge without any possibility of malware being passed between the device and its power source.
The USB Condom is meant to protect against what's known as "juice jacking," where a seemingly innocuous charging station is used to steal data or harm a device. If you're set up with an extra battery pack of your own, there should be nothing to worry about, but as travelers lean more on free charging kiosks, they may need to pay extra attention to exactly who set it up in the first place. The USB Condom is set to go on sale next week, and though we don't know exactly what the final product will look like, it's likely to be sold as a stripped down — but fully assembled — board, as illustrated above.