Tag Archives: USB

Destroy your stuff with just a USB stick

usb killer

Hey, now this sounds fun! Want a simple, effective, and inexpensive way to destroy your expensive stuff and all the data on it? Well do I have good news for you! Now, with just a simple USB stick you can blow up damn near any digital device with a front-facing USB port (meaning publicly accessible, it doesn’t actually matter which direction the thing is actually facing. An important distinction).

The USB Kill will charge itself from the USB’s power supply, then discharge itself back into the port, over and over again until the host device is broken. Of course they say don’t use it for malicious purposes, but come on…why else would we want one of these things? Oh right – ‘testing’ purposes.

To be fair, everyone knows USB ports are a haven for malicious attacks, they’re the mosquito-breeding stagnant pond of digital devices, a very easy way to infiltrate a system or exfiltrate (steal or lose) its data.

It’s a pretty nifty device, in and of itself, and another interesting point they make is that only Apple devices are protected against this type of attack out of the box. Everyone else, well, look out (also, it might not destroy the data, and if it doesn’t, then NSA-approved bulk erasers are for you!).

Bad USB!

First off, my apologies for the late post. I spent all day recording the lecture for the week I’ll be gone, and it turned out to be much more involved than I had anticipated. I think it ultimately came out all right, but it took about six and a half hours.

So we’ll see how it goes, in the meantime here’s a late post.

There was, earlier this year, the revelation that every single one of the billions of USB devices out there has a fatal flaw in its firmware, in which a malicious user or hacker could reprogram it to fool the machine into which it is plugged that it is some other type of device. In other words, it may be a thumb drive, but its firmware could be reprogrammed to fool a PC into thinking it’s a keyboard, which would then allow it to send keypresses to the host machine and a malicious user to then get the host to carry out malicious tasks. The flaw is known as BadUSB.

Going Up