Hardware Security: USB killer device is a new weapon for killing hardware

We all know USB (i.e Universal serial bus) and it is used for transferring data from USB device to any other computer/laptop. Data in USB could be a anything: malware, virus or real data. There is another version of USB device which looks same as USB. It is called USB killer.

“USB Killer,” a device which is capable of rapidly collecting power from a USB port and then sending a high voltage (technically, -200 Volts) back through the signal lines, effectively overloading and destroying the hardware.

How it works

The USB Power Surge vulnerability is a common flaw in products with USB connections. To save money, manufacturers do not protect the power or data lines of devices, which leaves them open to attack. When plugged into a device, the USB Killer rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power lines. When charged, -200VDC is discharged over the data lines of the host device. This charge/discharge cycle is repeated many times per second, until the USB Killer is removed.

The device has been developed by a Hong Kong-based security hardware team for usage by System Administrators in testing devices against the USB Power Surge vulnerability that the team highlighted.

The people selling such devices don’t feel any responsibility to determine whether buyers will be using those devices with the permission of their owners or going to use of other purposes.



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