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USB Killer


A few months ago I learned of a frightening concept: a USB device that, when plugged in, would draw and store power before sending it back in a single devastating burst to the host machine. It served to add a little frisson to a couple of information security talks I gave but I considered it as being unlikely to be something my colleagues and I would be likely to come across in practice.

It turns out that you can now buy such a USB killer stick (hat tip to Bruce Schneier for the alert). It probably still won’t be something I will encounter but becomes that little bit more likely. All the more reason for caution about leaving machines unattended and another strong argument for never trying out a USB stick you happen to find on any system of importance!

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