The new USB killer Pendrive v3.0 is out and is quite lethal than its previous version. It can destroy or burn any computer system that has a USB port (USB Host interface). Yes any system, right from smartphones that support USB OTG mode to a TV that supports USB inputs, This compact USB Pendrive can incapacitate all of them.
It takes just a few seconds once you plug it in and it makes sure all the parts get bricked including hard drives.
This is totally a new type of lethal device that is able to destroy computer systems physically unlike malware that often erase or steal your important data. Originally, The device was designed in a way to destroy the unwanted components. Once plugged in through a USB cord, it can actually destroy any of the sensitive components.
According to the creator of this USB device, a Russian security researcher nicknamed as ‘Dark Purple’, The principle of operation is as follows:
Connecting this USB to the USB port starts operation of the voltage converter, which rapidly discharges a capacitor, or sends “-220” Volts through the USB interface and repeat the entire process until everything possible in the computer is broken down.
Popularly known as USB Kill 3.0 by the technology manufacturers in Hong Kong, this device was a great push towards modernisation of hardware testing for power surges. Thus, when it is connected to any of the devices using a power surge, it shows its effect by destroying the device. It has been sold in the market for $49.95.
How does the device work?
The USB Killer Pendrive starts working when it charges itself through devices (like a laptop, PC, TV, etc) connected with the USB cord. It charges its capacitors through the power supply and suddenly discharges all the matter present in the laptop within seconds.
Within a single second, it charges and discharges multiple numbers of times. Until the USB Kill Stick is removed, it discharges the data of the host device at 200 volts DC power.
Benefits of using the device
The USB kills stick has provided multiple benefits to many people like journalists, activists and not to forget has been a great boon for the cybercriminals. Using this device, they can keep sensitive data away from the cyber thieves as well as from law enforcement.
However, the developers say that the USB Kill stick 3.0 is developed to allow companies to prevent data theft via juice jacking attacks and also test their devices against the USB power surge attacks.
It is noted that over 95% of the devices present in the market in recent times are prone to the surge power attacks through the USB ports. Anyhow, the devices like models of Apple MacBook are some of the latest devices that are not vulnerable to the attacks.
What is juice jacking?
Juice jacking is a kind of cybercrime where the computer quickly copies the data from a smartphone, laptop, tablet or other devices simply by using the USB charging port cable.
Watch the video demonstration below:
Where it is used?
The device has been utilized by the hardware designers of public machines to have a check on their products like copy machines, photo booths, ticket terminals, airline entertainment systems and a lot more. The check is made to ensure that all the devices can resist electrical attacks.
This device has also been used by the consumer hardware designers of smartphones, laptops, TV, etc. to protect the sensitive devices from malicious attack; testing can be done through USB kill.
The device has been in high demand by the general public too in order to get their own devices tested or kill them.
However, the technology manufacturers have also launched a new product along with USB kill known as Test shield. It is a USB protection shield that helps in protecting the host machine from getting destroyed by the USB killer stick.
This USB Killer Pendrive first began gaining attention in March when ‘Dark Purple’ first revealed it. Since then it was a hot topic in the computer security realm. As a proof of concept for this new version 3.0, ‘Dark Purple’ had posted a video that shows USB Killer 3.0, in action.
Dark Purple says that the Lenovo Thinkpad X60 laptop that appears to have been destroyed in the video will “live” as his new motherboard is on the way.
The design and development of this device have been tested and marked safe. It is known to be a high voltage device and strictly recommended for its use only by the adults. The developers of this product as well as the sellers strictly restrict any adverse use or malicious use of this product.
The USB protection shield, the Test Shield can also be bought with the USB kill at just $15.75.
So the next time somebody asks you to just plug in their USB drive to your computer system, you be wary of doing that.