Killer USB Sticks Enter Mass Production
Ashley Allen / 4 years ago
Last year, we reported on the work of a Russian researcher, who goes by the moniker Dark Purple, who had developed a proof-of-concept Killer USB thumb drive that could fry any PC into which it was plugged. Now, a Hong Kong-based company has taken that concept and put it into mass production.
USB Kill 2.0, developed by USB Kill, is capable of destroying any machine – PC, laptop, or even a television; any device with a USB port – it is plugged into by sending a DC power surge of 200v through the system via its rapid-charging capacitors. The little thumb drive is priced $49.95 and, at the time of writing (11th September), is temporarily out of stock, with new stock expected on 14th September.
“Any public facing USB port should be considered an attack vector,” the company says. “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!”
USB Kill pitches its malicious device as being impetus to pressure hardware vendors to do a better job at protecting systems from hardware attack in the same way that programmers try to mitigate damage caused by malware:
“Hardware designers/testers of public machines: photo booths, copy machines, airline entertainment systems, ticket terminals, etc with exposed USB ports should ensure that their systems resist electrical attacks via the USB port. Likewise, hardware designers of private machines: cellphones, laptops, televisions, portable devices should protect their devices against malicious attacks.”
Does this mean that USB Kill’s next device will be a USB port lock to protect vulnerable systems from the destructive USB stick it also sells?