USB Kill 2.0 can destroy any Windows PC in seconds, Apple Macintosh unaffected

“A Hong Kong based manufacturer, USB Kill, recently developed a device that can annihilate [almost] any modern device there is,” The Deccan Chronicle reports. “The USB Killer is not a toy. Created by a manufacturer based in Hong Kong, USB Kill, it is thumb drive that destroys the physical components of any modern device that it is plugged into.”

“The thumb drive named USB Kill 2.0 is a testing device created to test USB ports against power surge attacks. How it works? It simply collects power from the USB power lines until it reaches a certain voltage (240V). Following which it discharges the stored voltage into the USB data lines. This cycle is rapid and repeated till the device can no longer discharge or in other words, the circuit of the machine is broken or destroyed,” The Deccan Chronicle reports. “The device is not created for evil purposes.”

“According to the tests conducted by USB Kill, over 95 per cent of the devices are affected by a USB power surge attack. In fact, majority of these consumer-level hardware have failed when tested against the USB Kill,” The Deccan Chronicle reports. “‘To this day, according to our testing, the only company that releases hardware protected against a USB power-surge attack is Apple, on their Laptop and Desktop ranges. This means – despite adequate warning, and time to respond – the majority of consumer-level hardware manufacturers choose not to protect their customer’s devices. We are disheartened by this lack of respect for customers,’ said the organization.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As if anyone sane needed yet another reason to buy a Mac over a crappy Windows PC.

More info about and/or link to buy USB Kill (€49.95) here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Al” for the heads up.]

40 Comments

      1. To be fair, steak knives are primarily made to eat stakes. A shotgun is made to effectively harm another person/animal. So, in this context, where USB Kill 2.0 has destroying a PC as it’s primary feature, I think it’s a fair comparison with a shotgun.

        1. No, I think that this is a device to be used to test to destruction a PC to assure the m manufacturer that it has been sufficiently protected from such devices. Without such a device, how can the maker know they have sufficiently protected the USB port from voltage surges and spikes that are all too possible? Apple’s engineers anticipated such possibilities, it’s obvious that the other designers did not.

        2. A shotgun (or any gun) is a tool. It is your brain that decides to kill or not. Ever hear of target practice? That is a non lethal use for a shotgun (or any gun). An automobile is primarily made to transport. But it can kill. When you brain decides to do it. Get my drift?

    1. What’s wrong with all of you people thinking shotguns are intended to be used against humans?! I’ve only ever used one or known anyone else to use one on dove and quail.

      1. Shotgun hunts are used in Alaska to thin Moose population in populated areas to protect children walking to the school bus in the dark during the winter and help reduce vehicle/Moose collisions on the roadway. You don’t want one of them coming through your windshield, it would ruin your day.

    2. dear mr. apple,

      don’t you think it is about time to re-start an advertising campaign for people to resume switching from p.c.’s to macs?

      it’s kinda been a while…. was it too hard to think up a new ad?

      well, hell….. looks like somebody just hit you a grounder !

  1. There are various gadgets like this made to test all sorts of devices. They are supposed to be used by manufacturers and testing organizations, not the general public. I knew an engineer who devised a test for a high end piece of gear. The test was pass/fail. Failure meant the destruction of the device and they cost around $30,000. If you are the manufacturer you have to know if your device will work or not and sometimes risking destruction is the only way to find out.

    This is what I love about Apple. There are so many parts of the devices that are engineered to very high standards that they don’t brag about.

    While they were painting a fence, Mr. Jobs asked his father why the back of the fence had to look as good as the front, saying that no would ever know. His father told Mr. Jobs, “but you will know.”

        1. I did as well recently but it’s wrong. Not sure who changed this and wrote it in an article online. I believe the story is in Steve’s autobiography. You always see both sides of a fence, so that’s kinda silly.

    1. That is the sign of good craftsmanship. If you want to know if a piece of furniture is made with skill and craftsmanship, pull out a drawer and look where no one will normally looks to see the degree of fit and finish you’ll find there. If it is crappy, don’t buy it. The maker cut corners and the product will fail you. If it shows care and fine work, you can know that someone cared to put that effort in and in other hidden places, it will be just as well made.

  2. Can someone explain to me how a Mac would be unaffected by applying huge voltages through the USB port?

    Frying electronics is frying electronics. I seriously doubt that Apple makes military grade hardware capable of resisting lightning strikes.

    1. AC voltages to computer equipment up to 220 vac is common, so testing slightly above that seems reasonable.

      I am guessing Apple figures they must design to avoid damage when a peripheral get worn wires or other damage that causes 110/220 vac to get into the USB cable that goes to your Mac.

      NO ONE is going to design a laptop capable of withstanding a lightning strike. It is not unusual to see lightning jump many inches from one piece of metal to another, so even a disconnected device can be damaged in a lightning strike.

      One friend had a strike just outside his house and every single electrical device in the house along with dimmer switches, refrigerator, new stove, water heater, furnace, doorbell and electrical equipment that was inches away from a cable got zapped. No fire occurred, which was the good part. Luckily, his insurance company covered it.

  3. I would really, really like to have a reason to buy a Mac. Any kind of Mac computer – Pro, iMac, or any kind of MacBook. And, I’m not interested in any of the above being trotted out by the totally uninspiring Tim Cook in a big staged event of hype where he says “it’s the best computer we’ve ever made” then at the end find we have been offered some more tweaks and updates with little of substance in the way of true innovation in personal computers. Bet it won’t happen but I wish it would.

      1. I’m not a troll, Road. And, MDN’s take invited my comment. My comment is an excellent description of how incompetent is the current CEO of the once-great company.

        1. You are a troll Jay, by your actions, not by what you say.

          Sure make a comment about MDN, but make it as an addition to the topic at hand, “USB 2.0″ can destroy a Windows PC in seconds, Apple Macintosh unaffected.”

          Another good reason to buy a Mac.

          Again, put your money where your mouth it, bring a little light, show some intestinal fortitude, illustrate that you have a backbone.

          You said that you’d leave here, you haven’t.
          You bemoan Tim Cook, suggest a replacement, you haven’t.
          You bemoan Apple’s computer innovation, suggest better, you haven’t.

          You have troll written all over you.

          You are not a troll, gosh please don’t tell me what you are, I know where you are from, the land that thinks they can look down at god cause they are so superior.

          Put your money where your mouth is Jay. You said you’d leave, but you haven’t. So leave, or stay and be the lying troll that you’ve worked so hard to attain. Wear it with pride.

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