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USB Kill Introduction
The USB Power Surge vulnerability is a common flaw in products with USB connections. To save money, manufacturers do not protect the power or data lines of devices, which leaves them open to attack.
When plugged into a device, the USB Killer rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power lines. When charged, -200VDC is discharged over the data lines of the host device. This charge/discharge cycle is repeated many times per second, until the USB Killer is removed.
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A staggering 95% of consumer devices are vulnerable: laptops, telephones, consoles, cars, networking equipment.. Many industrial devices (ticket machines, control systems, in-flight entertainment systems) are also vulnerable.
Thanks to our clients, the USB Killer has been legally tested on hundreds of different devices, revealing which manufacturers have taken steps to protect their customers. The goal of legal testing is to raise awareness, forcing manufacturers to protect their customers.
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Youtube views for "USB Killer" since July 2016.
With each view and legal test, testers are creating public awareness to force manufacturers to protect their hardware. Visit USBKill.com on YouTube →
What is the USB Kill
The USB Kill 3.0 is a testing device created to test USB ports against power surge attacks. The USB Kill 3.0 tests your device's resistance against this attack.
The USB Kill collects power from the USB power lines (5V, 1 - 3A) until it reaches ~ -240V, upon which it discharges the stored voltage into the USB data lines.
This charge / discharge cycle is very rapid and happens multiple times per second.
The process of rapid discharging will continue while the device is plugged in, or the device can no longer discharge - that is, the circuit in the host machine is broken.
The USB Kill Tester Shield is a dual purpose device:
- It allows you to test your USB Kill 3.0 without damaging your host device.
- It prevents data theft via 'juice-jacking'
If you use a charger or USB port that is not your own - the device can steal your data while you are charging. Using a USB Kill Shield will prevent devices from having access to your data.
Who needs one?
In our tests, over 95% of devices are affected by a USB power surge attack.
Almost all consumer-level hardware fails when tested against the USB Kill. The most frequent outcome is the complete destruction of the device (laptops, tv, telephones, etc). Almost all consumer-level hardware fails when tested against the USB Kill.
Hardware designers of public machines should have a USB Kill to test their products: photo booths, copy machines, airline entertainment systems, ticket terminals, etc - anything with exposed USB ports should ensure that their systems resist electrical attacks.
Likewise, consumer hardware designers cell phones, laptops, televisions, portable devices - should protect their devices against malicious attacks.
Security auditors, penetration testers, police & government services should also have a USB Kill 3.0 in their arsenal of tools.
Finally, the general public, or anyone who wants to legally test their own devices should equip themselves.
Is it safe?
The USB Kill has been designed and tested to be safe and efficient. It is CE Approved and FCC Approved, and built and tested with the utmost priority on user safety. Although totally safe, the USB Kill 3.0 is a high-voltage device - it is not a toy - and is only intended for responsible adults.