Possible aspirations from spy agencies have led a Russian security researcher to cook up a USB Killer; a device that fries your PCs instantaneously after being plugged in. A worthy companion for anyone that might need to rid their devices of incriminating data in a jiffy.
Created by the researcher known as “Dark Purple”, this USB stick comes in the form of a regular USB thumb drive but in no way does it store bytes. This cyber weapon sends 220 volts through its USB interface to your plugged device shorting your whole circuit before you can say “destroyed.”
The interface of the USB Killer can be switched to act as a malware stick but that removes the spy element from it, self-destructing would have more appeal for sure. Info from a blog post by the man himself, claimed that his creation could permanently impair “almost any equipment” as long as it had a USB slot – crippling newer TVs, routers, modems and the works.
Little to no details have cropped up except for the aforementioned amount of voltage it sends through the USB circuit, or discharges the capacitor quickly. Fresh news crops up after its initial time of fame in March but there’s now a video showing the device being used on the researchers own laptop.
The Russian ends by saying that although it seems like the laptop he was using is now “dead” it’ll be brought back to life once a simple motherboard switch is made. So the likeliness of the hard drive being affected is slim at best; why bother then if it only disables the motherboard and not wiping data in the process?
Nonetheless, it’ll still keep users cautious not to simply plug in random USB thumb drives lying around.