Do You Know USB Killer?
We’ve mentioned USB Killer as a new technology invention some months ago here and now its second version (USB Killer V2.0) is available! Continue reading to find out answer of what is USB Killer, how it works and learn how to protect yourself from its attacks…
These days, electronic systems turned into a safe for most of the users which keeps their important information. The least important things like family photos and videos in case of getting stolen can cause the person serious problems. Fortunately or unfortunately, as safety of electronic devices increase daily, amount of new tools created to destroy or hack computer systems increase at the same pace too.
Of course, hacking or stealing files isn’t always the worst scenario that can happen; removing or destroying those files doesn`t let anybody including their owner see them again. So it’s better to know what is it and how it works to protect your computer system from its risks.
What is USB Killer Really?
One of the basic and most important rules to maintain security of computer systems is not clicking on suspected links that you don’t know, the links which source (or creator) and destination (where you’ll be redirected to) is unclear because they can carry virus. And now there’s another rule which if you fail to comply with it, it will makes much worse damage to your computer because this time, instead of software sabotage (virus link) it’ll destroy your computer hardware completely!
The rule is never connect an UNKNOWN flash memory card which comes to your hand from people who you don’t trust because it can be a USB Killer!
USB Killer is a $49 device (like a flash memory) which after having connected can burn a computer completely in a few seconds. After being inserted into the USB port, it discharges computer with a 220 negative voltage; this amount of voltage is unacceptable for motherboard and destroys it fast so that other parts of computer won’t be able to work anymore. Of course, some types of USB Killers aren’t intended for computers and they can discharge other devices with a USB port.
If you feel negative about any type of flash memory now and prefer to remove it from the list of your data transfer devices completely, you should know that damage strikes only the main board and although there will be a 220-volt electrical explosion, the possibility of damage to the hard drive is little.
USB Killer works simple. After connecting to the USB port, a DC/DC converter will run and charge capacitors 110 volts, then, when voltage reaches 110, DC/DC will turn off and FET transistor will be activated. FET transistor is used to transfer 110 volts of signal lines through USB. When voltage of capacitors goes up to 7, transistor will turn off and DC/DC starts working again. This circle repeats until everything is destroyed. The process seems to be long, but it does not take more than a few seconds.
One of the active YouTube users (Thomas Kim) shows how to create a USB Killer manually and without paying $49 which can have serious consequences! To make a USB Killer you`ll need to combine a camera flash components and an AA battery and your USB Killer is ready and by transferring 300 volts at once to the victim’s system, can make it out of use.
Although many electronic components are resistant against this kind of voltage, USB bus isn’t, so it allows passing this excessive force which will affect other parts of system negatively and probably kill it!
How Protect Yourself from These Type of Attacks?
You might be asking yourself now what to do to protect your computer or other devices from this kind of attack. We’ve come of several suggestions that might help you.
The first, and most important one, is not to insert an unknown flash memory into your device. Moreover, don`t accept a USB flash from people you don`t trust or you don`t know. However, if you have to deal with this kind of situations a lot, you can purchase a USB protection device (like SyncStop) which is able to protect your device from any attack, data theft or malware. And finally, if you have to leave your device unattended, you can manually cap your USB ports.
It might be useful for you to know, that by now the only brand which devices are resistant to USB Killer is Apple. As they put it, Apple is “the only company to [protect its hardware] voluntarily.”
As many people read articles about hacking and security to increase their knowledge and prevent themselves from hacking, it’s the same for writing article about devices like USB Killer. It means, you need to be more careful when you want to connect an unknown flash memory to your system. We recommend you not to make it; but if you’re a very curious person and are ready to take the risk of destroying your computer system with a USB Killer just to see how it works, try it only on your personal system and don’t do such a tasteless joke to your friends.
What USB Killer does…
How USB Killer can be made easily…
Image Source: USBKILL.com