USB Kill | A deadly USB device

What is a USB kill?

USB kill is hardware device which looks similar to your pen drive but can fry your motherboard of computer, phone and cars by rapidly charging/discharging its capacitors.

USB kill

The following image depicts how is USB kill inside. The 5 brown guys are deadly capacitors which does the frying.


USB kill capacitors

The USB Killer is the perfect device to fry modern devices with a USB port, but it’s not for malicious purposes. Rather, it’s to help manufacturers iron out a serious vulnerability. ( USB Kill ) Plug it in, and it’ll instantly destroy computers, TVs or any other device with a USB port.

Caution: This device produces very high voltage in a instant. Adapter is recommended to play with it.

How it works?

The USB Power Surge vulnerability is a common flaw in products with USB connections. To save money, manufacturers do not protect the power or data lines of devices, which leaves them open to attack.

When plugged into a device, the USB Killer rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power lines. When charged, -200VDC is discharged over the data lines of the host device. This charge/discharge cycle is repeated many times per second, until the USB Killer is removed.

Watch the following Video for better demonstration.


Do you Need it?

Probably not! But if you want to play with USB kill on your old computers and phone. You can give  a try to fry their motherboard .

Hardware designers of public machines should have a USB Kill to test their products: photo booths, copy machines, airline entertainment systems, ticket terminals, etc – anything with exposed USB ports should ensure that their systems resist electrical attacks.
Likewise, consumer hardware designers cell phones, laptops, televisions, portable devices – should protect their devices against malicious attacks.
Security auditors, penetration testers, police & government services should also have a USB Kill 3.0 in their arsenal of tools.
Finally, the general public, or anyone who wants to legally test their own devices should equip themselves.

Beware of this kind of device. This can burn your laptop, phone, USB devices of your car also.

PS: This is an informative article. Try USB kill at your own risk.

Praveen Hanchinal

Praveen Hanchinal is an Educator, IT Consultant, Professional Speaker on Artificial Intelligence (AI, ML, DL), Cloud, Big Data, IoT (Internet of Things) and BlockChain. Have been working on AI, Cloud, Big Data, IoT technologies for 9.0 years. He is a Team Lead, Educator, IT Consultant, trains and gives talks on topics of his interest and educates people. Trained around 11000+ people which include teachers, students, industry professionals and government officials on recent technologies.

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