USB Killer

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mirimir, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    http://habrahabr.ru/post/251451/

    ... and in English ...
    http://kukuruku.co/hub/diy/usb-killer
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2015
  2. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    That isn't very nice. What kind of jerks invent stuff like this?
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    No, it's not :thumbd: But what's useful to know is that such a thing exists. Far too many of us are far too careless about USB flash drives. Some people geocache them!
    Bored Russian device designers, it would seem.
     
  4. Lagavulin16

    Lagavulin16 Registered Member

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    Is this a product that is commercialy available? I'd like to turn my mother-in-law on to it if it is! :-*
     
  5. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    After seeing this story spread to more sites in the last couple of days, I am left wondering if there is any kind of hardware tester to test flash drives before plugging them into a computer to make sure something like this does not happen to a real machine. It would be nice if there was just a little box you could plug one into to see if there were hardware issues or malware.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    You could have a Raspberry Pi at hand, running Raspbian wheezy, and SSH to it. That would for sure detect such a USB Killer. Positive results would be extremely rare, and in any case, the Pi is inexpensive enough.

    Detecting malware is harder. Maybe Linux Malware Detect on Raspbian wheezy would do it. See https://www.rfxn.com/projects/linux-malware-detect/
     
  7. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Thanks, not a bad idea.
     
  8. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Why sacrifice a perfectly good Rasberry PI. From the description, I could breadboard a simple test circuit that would flash an LED if the fatal voltage was reached in a few minutes. I don't think I'd need much more than a few resistors, capacitors, one LED and a female USB connector. The USB killer is a pretty simple circuit and so is a detector for it.
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    That's true. But >99.9% of detections will be malware, not USB Killers.

    Unless you hang with a nasty crowd :eek:
     
  10. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    True, a Rasberry Pi dedicated to malware detection would be a nice thing. It would even be possible to design a circuit that would detect and discharge the high voltages of the USB killer and protect the PI from that threat. It would be a mirror of the original on the circuit design level.

    I just bought a Rasberry PI. It is going to have a web server. After years of paying for linux web hosting, I like idea of holding a linux server in the palm of my hand. I can do local testing of PHP code on it on the LAN and other cool stuff.
     
  11. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    I had wondered effectiveness of LMD. It is for specific use (hosted environment) so I don't know if it can detect other malware Linux client can face well. But as they claims, it is known that Linux AV is still not mature and not quite effective. This drived Virustotal to share more info about Linux malware with AV vendors.
    IMHO, a problem in that simple circuit is, it may be good for this USB killer but won't be good for super USB killer since it all depends on each parts' strength but if you used too strong register, it won't work as absorber. If you combine bypass circuit with microgap absorber to groundearth high voltage, it can absorb around 8000 [V] by itself.

    Also note, it's easy to program that only certain condition is met e.g. driver is installed, it starts destruction.


    But, you shouldn't plug unknown USB in the first place. If you picked USB, never plug it in your computer. Only use USB bought from at least to some extent reliable shop. For others, make them to use separate computer which can be easily reverted back if possible. Or CD/USB bootable OS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  12. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    I was assuming the circuit described in the initial post which is quite simple and pretty much an off the shelf design. Around 15-20 years ago I was into analog circuit design and the only thing new about this is the USB package. A high voltage isn't a problem in discharging the voltage with a discharge FET circuit. A high current would be but I can't see a USB stick sized device being able to pump much current very long at a high voltage--maybe if they stuck a watch battery in it but that would make it much heavier than a normal memory stick and you would get suspicious because of the weight.

    As Mirimir said, malware is a much more serious USB threat. The USB killer just amused me because it tweaked some brain circuits that used to think about circuit design that I haven't used in a while.
     
  13. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    Same here, I also just enjoyed while remembering when I was playing with electric circuit. I also thought about size, as that requires big condenser, but maybe we don't need to limit it to USB memory stick given there're more USB appliances.
     
  14. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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