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This Killer USB Drive Will Fry Your Laptop

Do you know the USB devices we carry each day can be converted into a bomb? You must be thinking like “yeah whatever.”

No, it’s true, a researcher just showed how a USB can be converted into a killer USB that can kill your whole PC within seconds.

Though, this is not the first time such a USB has been demonstrated. In March, the same researcher showed that a USB can cause harm to vital components of a system if plugged in. But, this time around the USB he demonstrated was significantly more powerful and was named as “Dark Purple”

The USB has been developed with a DC/DC converter, caps and FET. On plugging, the DC/DC converter charges the USB to -220V in the new version (in the old version it was -110V). This voltage is applied to the signal lines of the USB interface.

The process repeats itself until all the components of the PC are destroyed.

What’s more troubling about the version 2.0 is that the reaction rate is much more than the earlier version, which allows it to destroy the whole system within few seconds.

During the demonstration, the researcher lost his new laptop. This is what he said after the demonstration:

“Do not worry about the laptop, the new motherboard is on the way – and the laptop will live again,” He specifically bought new laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad X60) just for this experiment, according to the researcher’s blog post.

This is not the first time a USB has been used as a weapon. USB drives have been used many times for compromising systems in air-gapped networks.

Stuxnet worm is the best example in the recent past when a USB drive was used as a weapon. Stuxnet worm was designed to destroy centrifuges at a nuclear facility.

So, our advice for you would be to be very careful while using anyone’s USB (better still, do not use anyone’s USB in your system), as one wrong step on your side can put all your data on risk.

If you need any type of USB or memory stick recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 999 3282 for a free no obligation quote!

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R3 Data Recovery is an excellent emergency data recovery service that I would have no hesitation in recommending to anyone.

From the initial telephone conversation I had with them I was extremely impressed by their implicit understanding and sensitive handling of my stress and panic, believing I had possibly lost 10 year’s worth of invaluable documentation, imagery and archiving from my highly respected research held on a USB stick.

They worked efficiently and conscientiously to retrieve data urgently for me and made provision for me to receive it and all in time for an important PP presentation, the success of which was crucial to my career.

They were mindful in keeping me informed of their progress with the recovery process, hence putting my mind at rest, and they accomplished this all within a working day/evening. They worked hard and consistently until the job was completed successfully and made themselves available for me to talk to during out-of-work hours. They transferred all the remaining data that was not urgent onto a USB stick and returned it in the post to me, thus very satisfactorily completing an exemplary and outstanding service.

Adrian Howells (Performance Artist and Honorary Research Fellow ) - University of Glasgow

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