Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Upgrading and Repairing Forum » Laptop Hardware




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: get even with a laptop compueter that won't boot USB killer
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:59 am
Posts: 297
This is one way to fry a laptop computer lol.

with a usb stick.

how to kill a lenovo thinkpad t420

https://grahamcluley.com/2015/10/usb-killer/



Another Reason to backup your data <G


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: get even with a laptop compueter that won't boot USB kil
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk England
I wonder if this would still fry a board if connected to a USB hub. I advise my customers to go though a hub for things like old printers to save the port on the Laptop.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: get even with a laptop compueter that won't boot USB kil
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:50 am
Posts: 508
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Yes of course it would still fry it if it went through a hub. And unlike the creator I would suspect a lot more than the MB was fried by the discharge.

I am not certain I understand the purpose behind the device. It demonstrates the obvious. It is malicious if left around for someone to find. It may fry a system but it won't damage data on a platter. Seems to me you could accomplish the same thing by just shorting the USB power wire into a data wire.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: get even with a laptop compueter that won't boot USB kil
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:48 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 5803
FascistNation wrote:
Yes of course it would still fry it if it went through a hub.

I don't believe the "fry" would propagate through a hub, at least not a powered one. From the USB spec. and schematics I've seen the damage would be limited to the USB controller and/or voltage regulator circuitry in the immediately connected device. More discussion in the comments here: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10 ... n-seconds/

Quote:
And unlike the creator I would suspect a lot more than the MB was fried by the discharge.

Of course in the case of plugging directly into a laptop the USB controller is part of the motherboard chipset, which upon being destroyed renders the motherboard non-functional. In this case I believe all other parts of the system (i.e. CPU, RAM, drives, etc. would survive undamaged.

Quote:
I am not certain I understand the purpose behind the device. It demonstrates the obvious. It is malicious if left around for someone to find. It may fry a system but it won't damage data on a platter. Seems to me you could accomplish the same thing by just shorting the USB power wire into a data wire.

I think the purpose is just to demonstrate a surprising (and malicious) capability that most people would never consider*. There are obviously many other ways to accomplish the same thing, but the creator wanted to illustrate that something innocuous and fairly trusted could be turned destructive. I do think that any interest in this as being an actual threat is somewhat blown out of proportion. Scott.

*Back in the '80s myself and several others discovered that certain very specific changes to a DOS Volume Boot Sector would render an entire system *completely* unresponsive. What I mean is that the system would remain unbootable until either the afflicted drive was disconnected from the system or the damage to the VBR was repaired. Think about that, how would you repair the damage if the system could NOT boot while an afflicted drive was connected (even as a secondary or non-bootable drive)? This was long before USB or any other hot-swappable drives were available. Most techs encountering and troubleshooting the problem at the time assumed that the afflicted drive was physically defective (any system it was connected to would not boot) and ended up discarding the drive(s) along with the data, a total loss.

I figured out this was due to a bug in DOS 5 and earlier. To demonstrate the problem I wrote a batch file (I called it DEATH.BAT) that would inflict the VBR damage (after VERY clear and explicit warnings). I demonstrated both the effects of this damage as well as how to get out of the situation in my Data Recovery seminars back in the day. While my DEATH.BAT file would not cause any damage to the hardware, it certainly *seemed* as if it did and I immediately thought about it when hearing about this "death" flash drive...


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

Board index » Upgrading and Repairing Forum » Laptop Hardware


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: