“Killer USB Stick” can destroy almost anything such as Laptops, PCs, or televisions when it is plugged .
Dark Purple, a Russian researcher, designed a proof-of-concept USB prototype, to effectively destroy sensitive component of computer.
About 95% of all devices available on the market today are vulnerable to power surge attacks introduced via the USB port.
The only devices not vulnerable to USB kill attacks are recent models of Apple’s MacBook, which isolate the data lines on USB ports.
What is USB KILL 2.0?
“USB Kill 2.0” is a USB thumb drive , manufactured by Hong Kong-based technology manufacturer, that can destroy any unauthorized computer when it’s plugged into by introducing a power surge via the USB port. It costs around $49.95.
USB Kill 2.0 also comes with a USB Protection Shield, called Test Shield, sold for additional $15.70, which is designed to allow testing of the USB Killer stick without destroying the host machine.
Working of USB KILL :
When USB Kill 2.0 is plugged in, it rapidly charges its capacitors via the USB power supply, and then discharges all within seconds.
The USB stick discharges 200 volts DC power over the data lines , which results in repetition of charge-and-discharge cycles several numbers of times in just one second, until the USB Kill stick is removed.
The device isn’t designed or intended to erase data. However, the drive controllers may be damaged to the point that data retrieval is impractical ,depending on the hardware configuration SSD (solid-state drive) or HDD (hard disk drive).
In data security, these ports are often locked down to prevent exfiltration of data or infiltration of malware, but are very often unprotected against electrical attack.
When and for Whom it would be useful?
The sole purpose of USB Kill 2.0 stick is to allow companies to test their devices against USB “Power Surge” attacks and to prevent data theft via “Juice Jacking” attacks.
USB Kill stick could be very useful for cyber criminals, who want to keep their sensitive data away from law enforcement as well as cyber thieves. It is also useful for whistleblowers, journalists, activists.
If the law enforcement has caught your laptop, kill the data from your laptop. This is what terrorists do. USB Kill stick fulfills this need.
“Juice Jacking” is a type of cyber attack wherein malware installed on a computer can surreptitiously copy data from a smartphone, tablet or other computers using a USB charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over USB.
“Power surge” is basically a spike in your home’s electrical current. The spike is very brief, usually lasting less than a thousandth of a second, but it can still cause damage to your home and appliances.