MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - A Madison man has invented something that protects mobile device users from malware and identity theft that can come in through a USB port.
A lot of the work and development happened in a small room in the basement of his home that he calls "the lab."
Inside it, McCafferty and two others designed something that prevents the trouble that can come from charging a mobile device through a USB port.
"You don't know what you're connected to," said McCafferty.
The Juice Jack Defender, regular and turbo, is a small gadget that comes in five different colors. Simply put, it blocks the transmission of data.
"Our device guarantees that there's no opportunity for data exchange," said McCafferty. "It's a charge only."
He came up with it after hearing a report that found the top opportunity for identity theft and malware is when you're charging from a mobile USB port.
His target client is anyone who travels and charges a device from a public USB port.
"A lot of these public charging stations actually tell you 'we are protecting all of the transactional information that you're doing, we're collecting personal information from you' and they just tell you you gotta trust em, which is pretty frightening," McCafferty said.
He's delighted the Juice Jack Defender caught the attention of some impressive people who are worried about mobile security.
"Government employees are not allowed to plug in any mobile devices into their laptops and so a lot of government agencies contacted us," he said. "In fact, the White House contacted us a few weeks ago and we shipped one of our first units to the White House and they're going to use it for their communications division."
He added that he recruited fellow entrepreneurs in Huntsville to test the equipment over the last eight months.
"We've tested on Android, on all the iOS devices or Apple devices, everything from iPhones to iPads to iPods. They all work, even Blackberries."
Now, he's ready to sell the Juice Jack Defender to the public for about $15 each and he's comfortable they'll work on any device.
McCafferty is also very grateful to the entrepreneurial community of Huntsville.
He insisted he was able to see the device from invention to manufacturing because of resources, connections and support of other entrepreneurs in Huntsville.