In March, a Russian security researcher devised a weird USB stick that is capable of destroying sensitive components of a computer when plugged-in.
Now, the same researcher, nicknamed Dark Purple, has launched a new version of his computer-frying USB Killer pendrive – USB Killer version 2.0.
USB Killer 2.0 is much more powerful than the previous version and is able to "kill" more than just a PC it is plugged in.
USB Killer 2.0 is More Powerful to Damage any Computer
The first version of USB Killer was consist of a DC/DC converter, a few caps and an FET. When plugged into a system, the converter in the USB Killer would charge the caps up to -110V, apply that voltage to signal lines of the USB interface, and repeat the entire process until everything possible in the computer is broken down.
However, the second version of USB Killer dump -220V directly onto the signal lines of the USB interface, which is powerful enough to damage practically any computer with a USB port.
Another major improvement in the new version of USB Killer is the reaction rate. Once plugged into a computer, USB Killer 2.0 takes only a few seconds for the PC to shut down and stop working.
Proof-of-Concept Video Demonstration
While testing his USB Killer 2.0 stick, Dark Purple destroyed his brand new Lenovo Thinkpad X60 laptop. You can watch the video demonstration given above that shows the attack in work.
"Do not worry about the laptop, the new motherboard is on the way - and the laptop will live again," Dark Purple wrote in a blog post. "Originally did not plan to restore it, the laptop was purchased specifically for the test."
Killer USB is not at all a new concept, USB drives are used as a valid weapon to compromise the system in air-gapped networks.
Stuxnet worm is one of the real examples that was designed to destroy centrifuges at the Nuclear facility, and all this started with a USB drive.
So it's not false to say that a computer could be converted into a bomb because a hacker can probably make your computer explode as well.
Therefore, next time if you find a USB stick that doesn't belong to you, just beware before inserting it into your laptop. You could lose your Laptop, along with all your important files and data stored in it.