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!
I have recently used R3D to retrieve data from an external hard drive.
I called Andy at 11pm on a Saturday after my hard drive failed, he immediately ran through the symptoms and calmed my fears that all data was lost, but was honest that data recoveries are not always successful.
I required the data immediately as it was for a deadline the following Friday, the issue was I was based in London and the lab based in Sheffield.
After searching all data companies in and around London none would answer my call on a Saturday. In fact no one else would answer my call or say they could look at my case on the Sunday.
I took the drive myself to R3D and was very impressed with their facilities. Andy also explained the whole process and what they were doing at each stage.
Unfortunately the hard drive had a physical failure and needed to be rebuilt to have any chance of recovering the information.
After starting the rebuild at 4pm on the Sunday, Andy advised it would take him and his team until the morning to know if any information was recoverable - fantastic I thought. Andy and Mark got to work on my drive as soon as I left and by 10pm on Sunday they had retrieved almost the entirety of the information of my hard drive.
I cannot reccomend R3D highly enough, they are clearly experts in their field and have a passion for what they do. Through the whole process Andy kept me informed of progress and explained everything they were doing.
If you have a crisis or any data recovery needs these are the guys you need!
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