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Computer-killing USB drives now on sale

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posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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It sounds like something out of a B-grade Hollywood plot — a flash drive that you plug into a computer and is capable of destroying it within seconds. Last year, hacker Dark Purple disclosed a USB flash drive designed to fry a modern system as soon as you plug it in. The drive works by discharging -220V through the USB port.

Computer-killing USB drives now on sale



Sounds like a device right out of Mr Robot or a spy movie to me. Here is a couple of short videos of the device in action taking out a laptop and another system.




edit on 10-9-2016 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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These have been around forever, just not mass produced. With a little know-how, you can build your own in an afternoon.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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a reply to: AdmireTheDistance

This device is apparently for sale through so it may well be being mass produced.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:18 AM
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What's the point?

Does it just kill the modem?

-or just the usb drive?



Nvm I see, just a usb drive killer.

Still don't see the purpose.


edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: addddddaded to



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

Two groups spring to mind straight away - perverts and wannabe/actual terrorists. Those guys would be the typical buyer of a USB drive like this.

Schools, universities, govt and large businesses have obligations to clean drives of personal data and it'll be a major time-saver for them.


Disregard idiotic comments above

edit on 9.10.2016 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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That can be pretty handy.
No fear if encryption might be breached.
Just plug and play when the SWAT team pays a visit



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Doesn't it just kill the usb drives functionality?



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:26 AM
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It probably fries the motherboard and a few things connected to that..

I don't think the Hard Drive cares about the rest of the computer working..

I see no reason this would wipe out your data.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: Mandroid7
a reply to: Kandinsky

Doesn't it just kill the usb drives functionality?


Yes, how would it destroy a HDD or SSD? It did not harm the computer, only that USB port!
edit on 10-9-2016 by hellobruce because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: hellobruce

a reply to: Mandroid7

Aye you're both right.

I read the article and didn't read the article.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:32 AM
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originally posted by: Dumbass
That can be pretty handy.
No fear if encryption might be breached.
Just plug and play when the SWAT team pays a visit


Umm, nah, frying the circuitry doesnt erase your data.

You do know that the drives are likely still recoverable, so just swap it into the machine they use to recover data.

This has to be the most pointless thing I've ever seen... and the videos prove it. "Herp, I pluggered in the usb stick, now I plug it in again, and again and again, thumbs up!"

most derp...



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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This is nothing new, but rather something that keeps popping back up every few years. We had to deal with them alot in the army when i was deployed back in 2008.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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I can actually kill a computer too, all you need is a AC power plug and some bare wires on the other end.

Stick them into the USB port and plug the plug into a socket. And more, you get fire works too !!!



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

Looking here, it says that the HD controllers are damaged:


However, depending on the hardware configuration (SSD vs platter HDD), the drive controllers may be damaged to the point that data retrieval is impractical," the company said in its marketing material.


It would seem to me that the data is still available on the platters, if a legacy system and it would be a relatively simple matter to recover that data by disassembling the drive and putting them in a new housing. Not sure about SSD, though.

Computer World



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: savemebarry
I can actually kill a computer too, all you need is a AC power plug and some bare wires on the other end.

Stick them into the USB port and plug the plug into a socket. And more, you get fire works too !!!



actually that is not guarnteed to do any damage whatsoever to the computer.. You see once upon a time reverbs made a "gameboy charger" I was little shh.. I cut off the chord to my alarm clock and plugged the bare wires into my gameboy battery compartment.. and plugged the other end into the wall....

that was a big blue arc, and pop and big pop.. well blew out half of the houses fuses, wrecked the wall socket, but to this day.. That gameboy still freaking works.. Hahaha..



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

If fries the SoC and damages memory plus many other components on your main board due to over current.
edit on 10-9-2016 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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It shouldn't kill a normal sata drive in theory but theres no way of knowing what sending that much power down a machines usb ports could do as every motherboard etc is different and i doubt without reading a metric crap ton of USB specs if it covers such events to begin with and if it did i'd expect fast blow fuses or a suicide module on the board which i aint seen in much stuff since the late 80's.

Most kit is built to operate at its normal voltage levels these days to keep costs down with very little wiggle room.

Would love to see one linked up to a proper 415v 3phase supply....just i'd like to stand about 20ft away with my hand on the isolator and if needed the halon release button



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:52 AM
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I may not be a "techie" kinda guy, but if I don't want a computer to ever work again AND destroy the hard drive.....I take the sure fire, low tech approach. I have rather large, insanely strong rare Earth magnets handy and this -



works every time.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

I remember the days when deleting the autoexe.bat file or the shell folder could do the job... and for the record I heard that on the grapevine so don't shoot the messenger.

It's not that hard to compromise a computer if you know what you are doing.



posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

My question is this. I have 5 USB drives...all purchased..the last one over a year ago in 2015. I also have 2 externals that have everything I own on them off-computer in a drawer.

Are older than one year common drugstore USB drives affected? Or is it just newer USB drives? And what about all the USB-plug in stuff we all own?
Thanks in advance! MS



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