USB Killer V3

The USB Killer V3 is pretty much a simple device, initially developed by the security team based in Hong Kong, having a few high voltages, a FET, a DC/DC converter and a USB connector. Once plugged into a targeted device it will cycle voltage (charge/discharge 220V) until something drops dead.

Through years, this small and discreet device has evolved from the known hand-etched PCB to very powerful and even more discreet commercially available version.

One of the common flaws in products with USB ports is the USB power surge vulnerability. To save money, manufacturers don’t care much about protecting the data lines or device power which leaves the devices (laptops, routers, smartphones, TVs, cars, etc.) open to attacks.

Therefore, we’re now able to test (or destroy) devices against those power surge attacks using the newest USB Killer V3 which comes in two flavors: Standard and Anonymous USB Killer.

How USB Killer V3 Works?

When you plug the USB Killer V3 into a host device, it will quickly charge up its capacitors from the USB power lines. When the capacitors are charged, the host device gets discharged over the data lines to as low as -200VDC. This charge/discharge cycle repeats itself multiple times per second until the USB Killer is unplugged. If the circuit of the host machine breaks in the process, discharging will stop.

USB Killer V3 [features, design, hardware specs]

This amazing device can take energy (USB power source) from any device it’s plugged into and to transfer that energy into its capacitor up to certain high voltage (~240V), destroying the whole system of the device. The host device will render useless during discharging process.

Specifications:

  • Output voltage: -215 VDC
  • Input voltage: 4.5 – 5.5 VDC
  • Pulse current: ≥180A
  • Pulse Frequency: 4 – 8 times per second
  • Testing Shield [Pro Edition]
  • Adaptor Kit 3.0 [Pro Edition]

Features:

  • Allows the testing of the USB Killer 3.0 without having to damage the host device.
  • Protects your data connection from data theft through “Juice-Jacking”.
  • Instant disabling of electronic devices with USB ports
  • Tests USB ports. The aim is to prevent power surge attacks. It is also meant to test the resistance of your device against such an attack
  • Siphoning power out of the USB power lines in a measure of 5V, 1 – 3A until it reaches, approximately, –240V. At this point, it will discharge the stored voltage into the USB data lines.
  • Pretty quick charge/discharge cycle, which takes place several times per every second. This quick process of discharging continues as long as the devices remain plugged in. However, the device will no longer discharge when there is a breakage in the circuit of the host machine.

USB Killer V3 Models

Beside Standard and Anonymous basic edition, this CE and FCC approved device also comes as USB killer Pro V3 Kit (both Standard & Anonymous), which features some additions that can be useful for all pro users.

Standard Edition

USB Killer V3: Standard Edition
It comes in a detachable plastic cover and standard white ABS case with logo, designed for industry testers.

Anonymous Edition

USB Killer V3: Standard Edition
Discreet version without USB Killer logo, designed to satisfy the requirements of government, ethical hackers, pentesters and police.

USB Killer Pro V3

USB Killer V3 Pro: Testing Shield and Adaptor Pack 3.0
Available in both Anonymous and Standard edition, comes with Testing Shield and Adaptor Pack 3.0.

USB Killer V3 Usage

If you are hardware designer, pentester, cybersecurity professional, if you are working in a police or for the government, or If your just interested into hardware security, USB Killer V3 should be included in your toolset. The USB Killer Pro v3 can be employed in the following cases:

  • You can prevent your personal devices like TVs, laptops, smartphones and more, from getting destroyed with the use of a USB Killer v3.
  • If you’re a hardware designer, you should have a USB Killer to test your products and ensure full functionality of the specific device.
  • Government services can use the USB Killer to protect their devices/systems against harmful surge attacks.
  • If you want to make some damage, for the testing purposes of course, you’ll be available to shut down (kill) computer systems, rendering them useless and dead or even get in control of the systems.
  • All interested in cybersecurity, both professionals and enthusiasts, can use the USB Killer V3 to safeguard cyber systems from hackers who can get in control of any system without legal permission.
  • Companies can use the USB Killer to secure information and system files from intruders.

Conclusion

From records, over 95% of devices are vulnerable to the USB power surge attacks. Everyone interested in hardware security testing should get the USB Killer v3.0, you’ll be surprised how much damage you can cause using it.

Everyone should be aware that making a use of an unknown USB device/stick or a charger that doesn’t belong to you, can cost a lot. E.g. it is possible for the device to steal your data during charging process or to completely destroy motherboard, etc. Make sure you plug only trusted USB to your devices. If you aren’t sure where it came from, try not to succumb to your curiosity. You never know, it might be the USB Killer.

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