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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Now you can buy a USB stick that destroys anything in its path rss

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Steven Woodcock
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Very clever:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/now-you-can-buy-a-usb-stick-tha...
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J
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Interesting:

Quote:
Not every device is vulnerable to a USB Kill attack. The device maker said that Apple "voluntarily" protected its hardware.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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jmilum wrote:
Interesting:

Quote:
Not every device is vulnerable to a USB Kill attack. The device maker said that Apple "voluntarily" protected its hardware.
Yes. I noticed that odd wording.

I also noticed the tone of the last part about how they sell protection.
 
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G Rowls
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so if you plug it into another one of these would it be a mutal kill?
 
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Shawn Fox
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growlley wrote:
so if you plug it into another one of these would it be a mutal kill?

No, the usb stick doesn't supply any power. It just uses a capacitor to store up the power being supplied by the USB port and then feed it all back in one burst.

It really seems like an odd product to me, I fail to see the usefulness of it other than being a dick. If the intention is just to destroy the USB port itself, there are plenty of less destructive ways to do it that don't risk frying the entire computer the USB port is connected to.
 
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Steven Woodcock
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sfox wrote:


It really seems like an odd product to me, I fail to see the usefulness of it other than being a dick. If the intention is just to destroy the USB port itself, there are plenty of less destructive ways to do it that don't risk frying the entire computer the USB port is connected to.


I see all kinds of potential uses. If you destroy a computer this way rather than something really obvious (like bashing in its console) it ties up resources having folks diagnose the issue, perhaps do testing in place, taking back to their labs for further testing. Somebody might not know that a given computer was destroyed for example.

It's not clear to me if this works if the port has been disabled; that's standard security practice in most organizations. I guess it depends on whether or not that disabling turns off the port power or not?


Ferret

 
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J
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Disable the port with superglue
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ferretman wrote:
sfox wrote:


It really seems like an odd product to me, I fail to see the usefulness of it other than being a dick. If the intention is just to destroy the USB port itself, there are plenty of less destructive ways to do it that don't risk frying the entire computer the USB port is connected to.


I see all kinds of potential uses. If you destroy a computer this way rather than something really obvious (like bashing in its console) it ties up resources having folks diagnose the issue, perhaps do testing in place, taking back to their labs for further testing. Somebody might not know that a given computer was destroyed for example.

It's not clear to me if this works if the port has been disabled; that's standard security practice in most organizations. I guess it depends on whether or not that disabling turns off the port power or not?


Ferret

And what use would that have outside not being a dick.
 
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David Dearlove
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Of course it's trivial to design a USB interface that copes with a short high voltage spike. Every one I've ever designed would be OK. I would expect a decent computer to have some protection.
 
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Steven Woodcock
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jmilum wrote:
Disable the port with superglue


That would probably do it.


Ferret
 
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Steven Woodcock
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slatersteven wrote:
And what use would that have outside not being a dick.


My, aren't we a ray of sunshine today? :)

First, some folks ARE dicks. I refer you to most of RSP (or perhaps just the mirror) as an example there.

Second, a spy could have all kinds of reasons for doing this, probably as varied as reasons to spy.



Ferret
 
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Robert Wesley
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Re: Now you can buy a USB stick that 'moi' shall make into a "suppository" for YOU!
IT could also become 'useful' as a 'buttplug' for anyone 'moi' CATCH with that! "Gonna CATCH an 'example'!" surprise
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Michael Tagge
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Kinda dumb. You can accomplish the same thing with a gun or a hammer. And those have other purposes as well. If we stipulate physical access to the machine the battle is already lost.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
And what use would that have outside not being a dick.


My, aren't we a ray of sunshine today? :)

First, some folks ARE dicks. I refer you to most of RSP (or perhaps just the mirror) as an example there.

Second, a spy could have all kinds of reasons for doing this, probably as varied as reasons to spy.



Ferret
It wouild seem to me the last thing I spy would want to do it let peopel know something has happened.
 
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J J
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Really? People who have spouted at length in RSP about human nature can't understand the purpose or reason behind this?

Here's one.

Because I can.

Very basic facet of a lot of people. Because I can think of it. Because its a cool idea. Because I can build it and make it work. Because I can be a dick. The last one might well be the more common impetus for actual implementation, but it need not be; the first three are sufficient a lot of the time.

Do not press this button.
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J
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One reason to use this would be to check if your vendor was providing hardened equipment to meet your spec.
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Steven Woodcock
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slatersteven wrote:
It wouild seem to me the last thing I spy would want to do it let peopel know something has happened.


If you kill the USBs on a critical piece of equipment that isn't often used, you cause all kinds of consternation/confusion when somebody does try to use it. Delay is a valuable tool for the spy.


Ferret
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J.D. Hall
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Here's what I took from it:

The article says you can plug it into anything -- a PC, a laptop, even a PHONE BOOTH

A phone booth? They even make those anymore? WTF?

As for the killer USB -- well, people do funny things.
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rekinom
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I could see a die-hard civil libertarian carrying this in his pocket when crossing (edit: or getting within 100 miles of) the US border. Maybe silk screen the 4th amendment on the outside of it.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
It wouild seem to me the last thing I spy would want to do it let peopel know something has happened.


If you kill the USBs on a critical piece of equipment that isn't often used, you cause all kinds of consternation/confusion when somebody does try to use it. Delay is a valuable tool for the spy.


Ferret
Yes, this same piece of equipment that contains all that up to date intel that no one put on there recently.

Do you mean SPy?
 
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David Dearlove
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jmilum wrote:
One reason to use this would be to check if your vendor was providing hardened equipment to meet your spec.

We tend to use better specified EMC test equipment.
When I designed aircraft equipment every interface had lightning protection that would not worry about this device.
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Steven Woodcock
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slatersteven wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
It wouild seem to me the last thing I spy would want to do it let peopel know something has happened.


If you kill the USBs on a critical piece of equipment that isn't often used, you cause all kinds of consternation/confusion when somebody does try to use it. Delay is a valuable tool for the spy.


Ferret
Yes, this same piece of equipment that contains all that up to date intel that no one put on there recently.

Do you mean SPy?


?

 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
It wouild seem to me the last thing I spy would want to do it let peopel know something has happened.


If you kill the USBs on a critical piece of equipment that isn't often used, you cause all kinds of consternation/confusion when somebody does try to use it. Delay is a valuable tool for the spy.


Ferret
Yes, this same piece of equipment that contains all that up to date intel that no one put on there recently.

Do you mean SPy?


?

Why is a spy going to be interested in a work station that has not been sued for ages?
 
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Drew
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The State Department is buying them wholesale.
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I see you...
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rekinom wrote:
I could see a die-hard civil libertarian carrying this in his pocket when crossing (edit: or getting within 100 miles of) the US border. Maybe silk screen the 4th amendment on the outside of it.


I can see it being used by someone who's being raided by the police and doesn't want his computer to be examined.
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