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USB Drive is Designed to Fry Laptops

Discussion in 'All other topics' started by ireland, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

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    Killer USB Drive is Designed to Fry Laptops
    [Dark Purple] recently heard a story about how someone stole a flash drive from a passenger on the subway. The thief plugged the flash drive into his computer and discovered that instead of containing any valuable data, it completely fried his computer. The fake flash drive apparently contained circuitry designed to break whatever computer it was plugged into. Since the concept sounded pretty amazing, [Dark Purple] set out to make his own computer-frying USB drive.


    While any electrical port on a computer is a great entry point for potentially hazardous signals, USB is pretty well protected. If you short power and ground together, the port simply shuts off. Pass through a few kV of static electricity and TVS diodes safely shunt the power. Feed in an RF signal and the inline filtering beads dissipate most of the energy.


    To get around or break through these protections, [Dark Purple]’s design uses an inverting DC-DC converter. The converter takes power from the USB port to charge a capacitor bank up to -110VDC. After the caps are charged, the converter shuts down and a transistor shunts the capacitor voltage to the data pins of the port. Once the caps are discharged, the supply fires back up and the cycle repeats until the computer is fried (typically as long as bus voltage is present). The combination of high voltage and high current is enough to defeat the small TVS diodes on the bus lines and successfully fry some sensitive components—and often the CPU. USB is typically integrated with the CPU in most modern laptops, which makes this attack very effective.


    http://hackaday.com/2015/03/11/killer-usb-drive-is-designed-to-fry-laptops/
     
  2. cyclops1

    cyclops1 Member

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    This is interesting. I am wondering if modifying a hand-held stun gun to look like and connect as a portable HDD would work as well. Portable stun guns operate on 9v batteries and can produce a zapping 80,000 to 100,000 vdc. I imagine if that works, disguised as an Ipod would be awesome. Crooks love stealing Ipod's, he he.
     
  3. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I prefer the USBs that contain in incurable firmware malware. The malware will infect the computer it is plugged into and all the computers on its network. There is no security available to stop firmware attacks. This can even happen on a virtual computer where the drives are all virtual. The purpose is to steal any information of value on any of the infected computers even those not connected to a network. It will also transmit logs of your internet traffic to another zombie which will glean out any useful information such as log in information.

    Believe it or not this is pretty common. The problem is we have no good way to detect firmware infections. BTW at the beginning of the year when thousands of companies and government agencies were hacked and 90 Billion US dollars were taken from banks. ALL the networks were high security requiring complex passwords and lock out at 3 log in errors. None experienced any lock outs. This indicates the hackers didn't guess. Since this is mainly an internet infection the computer you are using might be infected.
     

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