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Meet USB Killer v2.0 which can burn any PC in minutes
In March, a Russian security researcher with the pseudonym “Dark Purple” had devised a weird computer-frying Killer USB pendrive, which, when plugged in is capable of destroying sensitive components of a computer.
Dark Purple works for a company that develops and manufactures electronic components. The same researcher has now launched a new version of his computer-frying USB Killer pendrive – USB Killer version 2.0, with a specific purpose that it “would burn half a laptop down.” USB Killer 2.0 is much more powerful than its previous version.
USB Killer 2.0 Can Damage Any Computer As It Is More Powerful
In the first version of the USB Killer, the researchers used a small board with a DC/DC converter, a FET, and a few caps. When the USB Killer was plugged into a PC, the converter would charge the caps up to -110V, deposit that voltage into the USB interface, and repeat the entire process until the computer breaks down or the port dies.
The same researcher has now presented USB killer v2.0 that could be used once again to burn a PC or at least kill its USB port.
“Finally we managed to organize the installation and testing of prototypes of a new version of the device. Devices that perform only one function – the destruction of computers. But let’s not limited to computers, the device is able to incapacitate almost any equipment equipped with USB Host interface.” states Dark Purple in a blog post.
The second version of USB Killer directly deposits -220V onto the USB signal wires, which is powerful enough to damage practically any computer with a USB port.
“The main feature of the new version of the device is increased twice, “output” voltage, it is now 220 (strictly speaking, minus 220). Also in the new version the efforts were aimed at making the device even more compact, as in the first version had slightly modifying the body, so that everything fits” added Dark Purple.
The reaction rate is another major improvement in the new version of USB Killer. The USB Killer 2.0 once plugged into a computer takes only a few seconds for the PC to shut down and stop working.
While testing his USB Killer 2.0 stick, Dark Purple destroyed his brand new Lenovo Thinkpad X60 laptop. You can watch the video demonstration that is the PoC of the hack.
“Do not worry about the laptop, the new motherboard is on the way – and the laptop will live again,” Dark Purple wrote in a blog post. “Originally did not plan to restore it, the laptop was purchased specifically for the test.”
USB drives are used as a valid weapon to compromise the system in air-gapped networks and the Killer USB is not at all a new concept.
One of the real examples is Stuxnet worm, which was designed to destroy centrifuges at the Nuclear facility, and this all began with a USB drive.
So, it would not be incorrect to say that a hacker could probably explode your computer by converting it into a bomb.
Therefore, just be careful next time before inserting any USB that does not belong to you into your laptop. You could not only lose all the important files and data stored in your system, but also lose your laptop.