Don’t trust other people’s USB flash drives, they could fry your laptop
Have you ever heard stories about malicious USB thumb drives frying laptops and thought they were far fetched? An electronics engineer heard them too, and then set out to create a prototype.
The “USB Killer” device was created by a do-it-yourself hardware enthusiast who described his project, complete with pictures and technical details, on a Russian blogging platform in February. An English-language version was posted on a different site earlier this week.
The malicious USB thumb drive uses an inverting DC-to-DC converter to draw power from the computer’s USB port in order to charge a capacitor bank to -110 Volts (negative voltage). The power is then sent back into the USB interface via a transistor and the process is repeated in a loop.