For all of their potential usefulness, portable USB hard drives, or Thumb Drives as they are commonly called, are already a serious security concern for businesses. From spreading malware to leaking company data, the Thumb Drive has become synonymous with risk. As if not wanting to leave bad enough alone, a Chinese manufacturer has taken things a step further and introduced USB Kill 2.0.
USB Kill 2.0 is a small handheld device that has the ability to destroy, or at least damage, any device with a USB port. USB Kill functions like any other Thumb Drive; it is inserted into a USB hub and starts to receive power from the connected system. Where things go wrong is that once the device is fully charged, USB Kill will expel a negative energy burst into the attached system. This surge of electricity is repeated many times per second until the device is removed from the USB hub. In many older systems, this burst of electricity is enough to ruin hard drives and destroy motherboards. Newer systems and many mobile devices come standard with surge protection safety guards in place, but even in those cases, the burst of electricity can destroy the USB hub.