It was a usual gloomy winter morning. My colleagues and I were drinking our morning coffee, sharing the news and there were no signs of trouble. But then a friend told about…

(a quote from a chat in Skype):

I read an article about how a dude in the subway fished out a USB flash drive from the outer pocket of some guy’s bag. The USB drive had “128” written on it. He came home, inserted it into his laptop and burnt half of it down. He wrote “129” on the USB drive and now has it in the outer pocket of his bag…

A Picture to Attract Attention:

Since I work in the company engaged in the development and manufacture of electronics, my colleagues and I are began to discuss options for creating a USB flash drive, that «would burn half a laptop down.» We had plenty of hardcore, fantastic, as well as quite real, options. This fun discussion could have been the end of the story, if I was not going to order the production of printed circuit boards for other projects.

As a rule, the USB interface of a computer has a USB plug connection -> ESD diodes (static protection) -> filter elements -> security elements in the chip that contains the physical layer of the USB interface. In modern computers, the USB “physics” is built almost in the processor. In older computers, North/South bridges are in charge of the USB. The task of the designed USB flash drive is to burn all of this stuff, or at least kill the USB port.

Within a week, I have developed quite specific circuit implementation, ordered components. After a few months of waiting for them, I made a full-fledged prototype. I tested the idea and “burnt down” everything I could.

USB Killer Prototype

Then, I developed and ordered printed circuit boards in China and made a combat model.

Off-topic: ordered it all here. Terrible quality.

Soldered it by hand, I am so-so mounter.

I designed it as a regular USB flash drive.

The basic idea of the USB drive is quite simple. When we connect it up to the USB port, an inverting DC/DC converter runs and charges capacitors to -110V. When the voltage is reached, the DC/DC is switched off. At the same time, the filed transistor opens. It is used to apply the -110V to signal lines of the USB interface. When the voltage on capacitors increases to -7V, the transistor closes and the DC/DC starts. The loop runs till everything possible is broken down. Those familiar with the electronics have already guessed why we use negative voltage here. I‘ll explain to others that negative voltage is easier to commutate, as we need the N-channel field resistor, which, unlike the P-channel one, can have larger current for the same dimensions.

I’m not going to talk to you about the application area, but a former colleague says that it’s like an atomic bomb: cool to have, but can not be applied.

Arriving at work, you find a USB drive on your table. What would you do?

Would you buy such «device»?

  • 3

Write your own articles at Kukuruku Hub


Costin Moise
I have some questions:
What is the damage? how many things can you recuperate from the «nuked» PC/Laptop.
If it's a PC, what's the damage there?
its a hundred volts it's going to arc across circuit traces that are close enough that's bad
It needs to have en eInk display to say 128, 129,…
Print the number made in sequence on each one. Make them non reusable so you make a billion dollars. I want one now now now please. Or I guess a bunch of em lol
Renaud Richardet
what about making it a normal usb drive as well. let me explain.
when one inserts the drive, one gets asked for a password.
if you type the wrong password, the usb drive shows you some fake content, and in the background “burns down” everything it can
Where can I buy one! Wait, where can I buy a dozen of these!
Someone has already done something similar on Indiegogo
Matthew Simpson
I with Renaud. But I'd buy it only as a zapper, too.
Lukáš Matoušek
Is this HW open source? It definitely should be! It would be better to make them in China for anywhere from 1 to 5 dollars, people would order them by tens, maybe hundreds! (The eink comment with counter is great idea!
Afaik, it's not open sourced.
Should be a must-have for all those people who always get hardware seized and inspected at airports.
Would you buy such «device»? Hell yeah, if only for the fun of placing one or two of them in the parking-lots of our beloved city council or municipal police station.
Perfect for airport screenings!
Marco Auhbt
This would probably not solve anything in the long run because If this gets big and someone would find this USB, common knowledge would be that it's either a fake, destroying one or a real one. Since these sticks are easy to open, it's easy to check if there are actual memory chips in there or if there's a hidden tesla coil destroying your whole PC ^^
Ben Dooks
Hi, where did you get the USB case from?
Rápli András
where can I order? :D
Someone has already done something similar on Indiegogo
Ahh the floppy disk bomb is reborn! haha
Gert-Jan Admiraal
How would it act when a USB hub or switch is used? What will be destroyed?

I can imagine that the HW design of those devices is the key. Still I would really like to see if the intermediate hardware could prevent destruction.
I would buy one to leave unattended in my desktop, after handling it with great care and looking at both sides before taking it out of my wallet for a full week. It's perfect as a mobbing countermeasure.

The following week I'd buy a «condom» that protects my laptop from overcurrent…
this is such a good idea. any chance you can attach the schematic? also, what path receives the 100v brick? i am a bit out of touch with PC's but if memory serves me the 5V rail is also the supply for the CPU. maybe have the first pulse of 100v sent in to the data, and the second sent back in to the 5v supply.
Shut up and take my money!!!
I would take it home and plug it into an old desktop I have kicking around that I use as a sandbox then probably kick the bloody thing thinking it finally broke before realizing I had been got.

Obligatory: Shut up and take my money! I have a few people in mind that need one of these in their lives!
Duarte Monteiro
Where can i find the schematics for this device?
Kukuruku Hub
It's not «open-sourced».
not open source, ok. any folks that want to build something similar, look up a basic boost topology. combine that with a window comparator or divider to trigger the output when charged. i built something similar for driving nixie tubes. if you want to be real lazy use a MAX1771 and a generic way to trigger the output once charged. i can more than likely hash something out in 20 min, but that would be a waste of my time. so yeah i wanted to see your schematic to see what parts/design you have chosen to use.

side note, my first nixie PS using the max1771 boosts from 5v to 300ish, 300 in to the usb port sounds like a more destructive voltage than your 100.

sorry but non«open-sourced» stuff burns my buttons, so i will do anything in my power to inform people that want to pursue electronics as a hobby.
Gy Tis
I would buy one definitely (if the cost is not that high). Will be waiting for one on kickstarter/indiegogo
want one too!!! (if you are not going to open a kickstarter you are a fool)
where to buy? 3:)
PLEASE sell these! At least just sell the PCBs, or sell the design for it. I would absolutely pay money for something like this. I would never use it on somebody else's property of course, but the idea is just way to hilariously cool not to have.
Start a kickstarter. I'll buy a dozen.
Someone has already done something similar on Indiegogo
I'll call BULLSHIT!

First of all, there is no such thing as a «n-channel field resistor»....

Second of all, I forwarded this article to my father, an Electronics Engineer of over 50 years.

He stated that your «theory is wacky at best».....

Send me an eval unit! I'll have a proto-USB condom up and running in a few hours!
Kukuruku Hub
Author is actually thinking to start a Kickstarter.
I would buy one.
Please convince the author to do a KickStater.
It would let him gather the initial money to mass product his «usb killer» and he would be able to make a profit.
There was obviously a failure in translation. If you pluck the original post (in Russian) into google translate, you will see that the author is talking about N-channel field-effect transistors (also known by their acronym 'FET') and not resistors.
If your father wasn't a lousy engineer, he would have known what the article was actually talking about. It would be best if he retired, if all he knows are vacuum tubes.
Maybe your Dad should have pulled out!

The failure is BETWEEN YOUR EARS!
Rithesh M Nanda
Open this on Kickstarter please, I will buy a hundred straight away :)
Rex Tipton
Sell them now.
Would this be lethal? I mean it can destroy a laptop, but could it pose a risk for someone with, let's say, heart failure? Thanks ;)
Mohd Rasheed
I Love To Buy 100 Pieces With Design Under Development Agreement 3:)

I Appreciate If You Can Bring It As Open Source.
Please post a link to purchase, I will commit to purchasing 100
Kukuruku Hub
It's not available. Yet.
Faraday S. Defcon
I think he didnt mean to use the word «resistor» there
Vinicius Ianni
Where can I buy one?
Edmark Ciminelli
Send to Brazil? Please responde to [email protected]

H Andrew Lipps
I could think of a few uses. But it is kind of a doomsday device. I believe it is feasible, though I question the destructive potential as described. Yes it would nuke (generic term for descriptive purposes only) whatever it was plugged into, but «burn it down»? Logitech and Microsoft both had wireless mouse dongles that would short and melt USB ports; I simply question the fire potential. That being said, if I were to test it, it would be in an open space with no flammable materials around and some kind of shielding between me and the sacrificial pc. And an extinguisher, just in case.
Timothy Lehman
Id commit to buying a few dozen if it actually works. Please make.
when/where can I buy and can you post a demonstration by any chance?
Wow. Really impressive! I like the discovery. But the different reactions here puzzle me: «I want to buy TONS of it, sure I'm dead serious about it, about FUN...»
Really, how can you even imagine to DESTROY the computer of someone moreover for the fun ??? Does the idea of destroying someone's car is something really enjoyable? As for me it's the same kind of stupidity!
Even more you're ready to PAY for it ???
Do you realize the day it's released/distributed YOU can be a victim?
And don't «I'm aware/perfect/above/best», you're NOT else you'd realise how stupid it is.
It's only my point of view, and I know perfectly that the key will be released.
And I'm 100% sure that the same persons claiming actually «Woot! It's crazy/fun I want it» will come crying «Booo my computer is done, bad/evil doers» meenie.
Wonder if the inventor can be sued after the first damages ...?
Mark Ronald Gladue
I am interested in purchasing some of these. If / when they become available please contact me as to how to purchase some.

Thank You.
for the usb killer you can build one yourself easily.
just use the lightning circuit of a disposable camera.
hook the lightning part to the usb data pins with inverted polarities and the power supply of the circuit to the power pins.
for the auto loop ,it is easy to do too.
you can hide it easily inside a card reader or a mini usb hub.
the autoloop is just the strobe hack,google it.
Tom Mason
This just made me rich! There's both 'offense' and 'defense.' So, when the kickstarter happens, then there will be some 'defense' (combat condoms) also starting up! ;-) But, the 'getting rich' doesn't even involve that. Those who cannot see how this can make them plenty rich are rather short-sighted; and, it doesn't have to be limited to USB. There are several, shall I say, «augmentations» that can be (and will be done) to this cool little toy. I am a former electronics engineer as well. :)
Where can I buy one?Who can give me the link?
Post video of USB Killer in action, please?
When it will be on sale? Maybe kickstarter? When it will be on sale?
Carlos Magana
Sold..where can I get one?
I would buy one.
Please convince the author to do a KickStater.
It would let him gather the initial money to mass product his «usb killer» and he would be able to make a profit.
Kukuruku Hub
He is thinking about the Kickstarter project. Not sure about the timing though.
I love it so much <3 :)
Could you please share the circuit diagram?
I want to make it by myself…
Thank you very much
Can I get his email and name to send to him buisness message?
Ivan Roman
I can see there is an website on deepweb selling some kind of device acting like the «killer usb» you described here. I don't know if I'm allowed to put the link in here, but here you go darkusb7n4zlgkcu.onion
It looks like a scam…
Ivan Roman
I've sent them an email asking about proof and demonstration and this is their response:

«Hello dear friend,

You have all the reason not to trust any service on deepweb and the beauty part of it is that everyone can be scammed.
If we scam people, won't last too long and we will lost any credibility.
We did not put all this effort to create the website and tor services just to scam for .5BTC, it's not worth it.
Did evomarket offered any warranties for their customers? No. They scammed a few days ago for thousand BTC. Who can we trust?

Our electronist is anon, we're working with him only by upfront payment.
We'll ask for him some documentation soon, the main problem is that we are the only ones who sell this beauty for the moment and we'll like to
keep it that way.

As soon we receive the documentation, we'll upload it to our website.

Thank you for your interest,

Best wishes,
DaskUSB Team»
Someone has already done something similar on Indiegogo
Kukuruku Hub
It doesn't look trustworthy. Whole description of a product was stupidly copy/pasted from this page.
i was able to build one from the guts of a bug zapper. it use 2 aa battery and kill a computer in less than 10 sec. i used the youtube tutorial that explain how to build a tazer from a bug zapper,i just added the usb plug.
the 2 wires of the zapper are inverted and connected to the usb data pins.
Hi, i have a question
why you send -110V?
how did you find this breakdown voltage?
Thank you
Any new on a Kickstarter or any kind of development?
I was thinking: There must be some workaround of detecting this USB. I mean, it sends a -110V so maybe attaching it with some USB power source which in turn is connected with a multimeter or something. Somehow, one may get the idea of detecting an opposite flow of current. Isn't that possible?
Francis Taisant
Pufff… Fake method sukz! African stuff method! lmao
Paolo SuperCoppa
Very interesting device. Where can I buy it, please? Some people said me that the one on Indiegogo is a scam. Or: could you build 3 o 4 pieces for me? Thank you!
Catalin Alin
I would buy it, dude! count on me for 8 units for me and my pals.
Yassir B
Yeees i would buy it broo :D
Dean Amb Rose
i want it! how to get one Evil Killer?????

Read Next

Hi Everyone! We are about to launch a new project very soon - Sign up to get a private beta access!