Weaponized USB Sticks Get More Dangerous

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W9GB, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. AB8MA

    AB8MA Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not to Psychopaths. Worry? HaHa
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Easier to be bad than good? Maybe I will try being bad to check that out, and give a report.

    But being bad may be difficult after all these years of being perfect----

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. NK2U

    NK2U Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure, but by the time it activates there is nothing left to activate.

    You can't win for loosing--

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  5. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is a direct application of High Voltage (200-300 volts) to pins 2 and 3 of the USB connector.
    That High Voltage destroys the USB transceiver (w/o ESD or over-voltage protection).
    Protection can only be provided via Hardware design (component selection).

    How / Why ?
    Many USB transceivers (especially Asian based) do not incorporate Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection. Counterfeit or Asian Clone parts, sold as ESD, often fail with this USB Kill device. This is "marketed" by mfg. as a testing device (Pass/Fail).

    The ESD protection issue has existed for decades (earlier RS-232 transceivers, level converters), but Consumer product designers (throw-away) were slow to incorporate protection to address this reality with external interfaces. Industrial designers were already using these solutions.

    Portable Devices (Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones, handheld) experience more ESD events,
    so the product designers increased their demand for using ESD-tolerant components.
    USB 2.0 -- The Basics
    The Pictorial, below, is the typical Type A, USB connector.
    Pin 1 : VBUS (5 VDC), Red wire
    Pin 2 : Data (-), White wire
    Pin 3 : Data (+), Green wire
    Pin 4 : Ground, Black wire

    USB uses a differential transmission pair for data (pins 2 and 3).
    The data is encoded using NRZI and is bit stuffed to ensure adequate transitions in the data stream. On low and full speed devices, a differential ‘1’ is transmitted by pulling D+ over 2.8V with a 15K ohm resistor pulled to ground and D- under 0.3V with a 1.5K ohm resistor pulled to 3.6V. A differential ‘0’ on the other hand is a D- greater than 2.8V and a D+ less than 0.3V with the same appropriate pull down/up resistors.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    N0NB likes this.

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