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This will kill anything instantly!

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axero:
This thing has been vexing me quite a bit:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/12/usb-killer-fries-devices/

In short, it is a miniature stun-gun that they have managed to pack into a USB-stick where the voltage is supplied from the USB port. The high voltage (~200V) is then fed back into the USB-port which kills almost any device instantly.

There are a lot of Youtubers that have fried different devices with this generating millions of views. This is something that concerns a lot of Admin-staff; if kids get their hands on such a device, we are likely to see entire high-school computer rooms being destroyed.


So my suggestion would be to make a video that examines what kind of damage such a gadget does cause, to how big an extent, and what parts get fried. How to repair. Moreover, this video could discuss how one could protect the USB ports of a stationary computer as well as portable units. And also discuss how one can prove or show that it is highly likely that a device has been damaged by a USB-killer.

Bicurico:
There are USB locks available in the market, that will prevent physical access to USB ports.

One example is this https://www.kensington.com/us/sg/4531/k67719us/usb-port-lock-with-rectangular-cable-guard

But there is another one, I can't rember now, which is relatively cheap, as the USB lock is basically a plastic part that fits inside the port and to extract it you need a special key.

I assume that the USB Killer device (which is not new - they just released the latest model for USB-3.0) wil AT LEAST kill the USB controller on the mainboard. That alone sucks - a PC without working USB controllers cannot be used due to lack of input periferals like keyboard and mouse.

Of course you could make these devices illegal, but then, if one wants to kill a USB port, he/she can simply connect a straight 220V cable to said ports. Hell, you could destroy the computer with a sledgehammer!

The REAL risk in my opinion is people spreading out these killer dongles for innocent people to pick them up thinking they are USB disks! So the real thing to do is to explain people they should NEVER stick an unknown USB device to their computer. NEVER!

Regards,
Vitor

axero:
On some machines they use optocouplers or magnetocouplers for the USB. If the device is a "semi-old" Samsung phone and it is protected, then the repair is not worse than replacing the USB-charger module which is an easy thing to do.

I really hope the manufacturers get flooded with phones with fried USB ports. I really want to give LG a good kick in the butt! The way they have designed the USB-charger circuit is unacceptable!

Don't know about stationary computers but it shouldn't be that big deal to put replaceable overcurrent/voltage protection modules behind the surface mounted USB ports and a filter adapter behind chassis ports.

Well it sucks to put USB-locks on every port and that hinders people from inserting memory sticks. Then of course one could leave one open with an optocoupler adapter behind it if there are such things available on the market.

I think that having a protection circuit that limits the damage to the port itself would kill the fun with a USB-killer. The port would be destroyed but the device would still continue to work normally.

gnif:
Many PCs have eSATA these days, and some of them are powered, a device that did the same on this port could prove catastrophic for the machine.

metrologist:
It might be smart for learning institutions to just eliminate the USB ports for other reasons too. Everything is on the cloud now anyway.

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