USB Kill can fry your device easily

Mikko Hyppönen, CRO, F-Secure

USB Kill; This little device was brought to our attention by Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure. In his presentation at AVAR 2016 held in Kuala Lumpur today Hyppönen described how difficult it is to educate consumers about the dangers that exist in the digital world. Rather than educate, he explained that a simple demo of this device would render many speechless.

According to their website, “USB Kill 2.0 is a testing device created to test USB ports against power surge attacks. The USB Kill 2.0 tests your device’s resistance against this attack”. Unfortunately, in demo ideos we’ve seen, the device also fries anything it gets plugged in to.

By collecting power from USB ports, the UBS Kill charges itself until it reaches a capacity of approximately 240V. It them discharges the stored voltage back into the device, frying the motherboard that the USB port is attached to.

In case that’s not enough, this “charge / discharge cycle is very rapid and happens multiple times per second”.

So the USB Kill does it again and again, until its opponent, stays down.

What’s scary is that this device can easily be converted into something seemingly innocuous, such as a thumbdrive or even USB flashlight. Bet you aren’t going to stik random devices into your ports anymore are you?

Watch the official demo here:

Watch the USB Kill versus a car:

Check it out on the official website

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