Overview of USB Killer: What Is It and How Does It Work? [MiniTool Wiki]
What Is USB Killer?
What is USB Killer? USB Killer is a modified USB drive that will destroy the computer when you insert it into the USB drive of the computer. The device has different versions. USB Killer drives are usually disguised as air ionizers and fans, which may deceive people with inconvenient information security training.
The creation of a USB Killer is mysterious because there are some origin stories scattered on the Internet. Some people say that USB Killer was invented by a security team based in Hong Kong.
In fact, it is a vulnerability test device used by USB Killer. This vulnerability has been an ongoing problem since USB technology replaced other forms of storage media in the general market, and it can be easily seen in the ability of USB Killers to destroy most devices with USB ports.
How Does USB Killer Work?
How does USB Killer work? After plugging in the USB port, the "USB Killer" device will quickly charge its capacitor through the USB power supply. Then, after charging, it will release -200V direct current on the data line of the host device.
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The charge/discharge cycle repeats multiple times per second until you remove the device from the USB port. This technology enables the USB Killer to instantly kill any computer or electronic device that has a USB port.
Is USB Killer Illegal?
USB killer devices are not illegal and can be used for legal functions. However, it is completely illegal to destroy computers and hardware that you do not own without the permission of the owner.
How to Protect Your Computer from USB Killer
Then, you may wonder how to protect your computer from USB Killer.
The fact is that managed or policy-based measures will not work. If you try to use Group Policy to control whether USB drives can be used, this will prevent the USB Killer drive from being used regularly, but not in a way that protects your system.
This is because regardless of whether the Group Policy control is used or not, power will still be sent to the USB drive and then sent back to the power source, which enables the USB Killer to cause damage.
Successfully responding to USB Killer requires you to use some low-tech solutions. The easiest way to stop the USB Killer is to simply cover the USB drive. This is the only way to physically prevent the USB Killer from being inserted into the computer, but it will also ban all legal, known, and harmless USB drives.
The second easiest way to prevent the destruction of the USB Killer is to properly learn the knowledge. Proper information security training will instruct users not to use unknown USB drives and should include USB Killers that are usually disguised, such as USB ion air purifiers. Physically limiting the burden of USB drives can be prohibitive, and reliable information security training may be your organization's only line of defense.
Finally, consider ordering a PC that does not include a USB drive. Nowadays, because the system relies heavily on USB drives, it may become more and more difficult to protect, but if it can, it can prevent all potential USB attacks.
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To sum up, here is all the information about USB Killer. You can kown what it is and is it illegal. Besides, you can know how it works and how to protect your computer from USD Killer.