USB Stick Destroys Almost Anything That It Is Plugged Into

A Hong Kong based firm – aptly named “USB Killer” – is offering such an eponymous device for sale. When the USB Killer is inserted into a USB port of a laptop, television, printer, or any other USB-enabled piece of electronics, it rapidly charges small capacitors within it from the USB power source to which it is connected. When the capacitors are fully charged (which can take less than a second), the device quickly discharges the power over its data lines – thereby sending an unexpected surge of power into the device to which it is connected. The USB Killer repeats this cycle as long as it is plugged in – but even the first discharge is likely to damage many electronic devices. (Note: The USB Killer website seems to be going down periodically – perhaps someone is trying to prevent the device from being sold.)

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