plausible deniability. selling devices specifically for committing crimes is illegal. that's why all the bong shops say it's "for tobacco use only".
My second question is that if bongs and water pipes are the same thing, why does the law distinguish their purpose by their name? It seems like given "I want to buy a water pipe for smoking the marijuana" and "I want a bong to smoke tobacco", the second should be legal to request, not both.
if you intend to use that power tool or crowbar to break into a house it’s “possession of burgular tools” and a felony, if you’re a contractor there to install some drywall it’s not.
Why would that be necessary?
Jackhammers are tools to destroy pavement. But nobody sells jackhammers as "ground strength testing tools".
These are tools to destroy computers. Both are completely legal as long as you are not destroying someone else's property without permission.
While I'm not aware if anybody has ever been convicted for weirdly defined laws like that we for example have a "hacking paragraph" in Germany that outlaws software for the sole purpose of computer crimes. I'd imagine the UK has similar legal areas in lieu of their recent "kitchen knives are dangerous weapons, sometimes" controversy. It's not that hard to imagine somebody going after the manufacturer of such hardware and that blurb (or the ever famous "for educational purposes only") give them something to reasonably distance themselves from a user's actions.
Unless you're in a state that's legalized it.
Is there any device that is supposed to survive this?
In other news, throwing your computer in a fire also reveals a serious vulnerability.
Ethernet is designed this way because the differential pair can apparently pick up a bit of a DC bias when laid next to cables in the ceiling/wall. While researching this post, I found that the spec requires the transformer/inductor to work correctly with a 30mA bias current. I am too lazy to go measure what the DC resistance is, though, so I don't know whether or not 200V is close to that.
When I was in high school, I wired up a cat 5 cable such that each pair was connected to one phase of the mains. I then plugged it directly into my iMac. There was no damage to the computer and the Ethernet port worked fine afterwards as well. (The integrated monitor went crazy; this was in the CRT days and presumably the Ethernet transceiver's magnetics make a good degaussing coil).
The fact that Ethernet functions the same with a voltage bias across the leads is exploited for PoE — power over Ethernet.
Because I was 15 and bored.
(On the plus side, this made up for sleeping through that physics class where my professor did the exploding wires demo.)
There used to be...
As a boy - and this is many, many years ago - I once, ehm, accidentally connected the external speaker-plug on an old vacuum tube household radio to the 220V mains.
A very loud bang, and the house went dark. The radio, however, was fine, although with an interesting new tonal slant to everything.
I repair & build vacuum tube equipment as a hobby.
And you'd still have to deal with the big spikes coming in on the USB power pins.
The problem is: optoisolators are very slow. Building one which goes faster than 12Mbps would be nontrivial; I do not think such a thing existed in 2014 (which usbkill is claiming). This implies that Apple has alien technology.
I think it's something else.
The problem is: optoisolators are very slow.
Not saying apple laptops ever had optoisolated USB though.
12Mbps/1.5Mbps is easy. ADI has an integrated magnetic isolator chip. For hobbyist use you can get this assembled on a board ready to use as an ebay special.
The 5Gbit of USB3 is two unidirectional links and so is also easy (monoprice and elsewhere sell optical USB3 cables).
And lest you think you'll isolate at 5Gbit and then use a hub to translate to 480, USB3 doesn't work that way - the backwards compatibility is provided by a complete USB 2 bus in parallel.
For general isolating (say an electronics workbench), it's easiest to consider the USB host floating (eg a dedicated bench computer), and rely on ethernet (T or SX) for the isolation.
This device that is designed to destroy computers is perfectly safe to use ... I don't know what to say to that.
You also want to use the gas dispenser from a Paslode impact gun, an air mattress inflator and a Zodiac check valve for the air purge.
That's much harder though because power lines tend to have big-ish capacitors on them.
Explosives will destroy, but recognizable parts will survive. Your safest bet probably is burning your computer, fast and thoroughly.
I think white phosphorous is a popular choice for this kind of thing because it’s relatively easy and safe to transport, store, and deploy (compared to, say, strong acids such as aqua regia)
Search for "and that's how I lost my other eye" from defcon23. Probably available on YouTube.
I suppose some pen testers, or actual CIA type folks might have some need of this type of device... but is that a large enough market?
"A hammer used maliciously can permanently damage to a third party's device. The USB Killer, used maliciously, can permanently damage a third party's device."
Contrary to this device a hammer can be used a useful tool too.
To prove that USB devices can be malicious.
It's probably most useful as an education tool, training staff not to plug random USB devices they find lying around the parking lot into their computers.
Essentially that the logical extreme of dropping computer-destroying USBs to demonstrate that one shouldn't plug strange USBs in the first place is akin to destroying an office that you talked yourself into to prove that you shouldn't have been let in in the first place. Perhaps "shooting up" was a tad too far, but with charity it's a reasonable point nonetheless.
Using a computer-destroying USB stick as an example of physical security threats misunderstands the nature and motivations of attackers. Everyone past childhood (and some in childhood, sadly) understands that there are a few people in this world whose motivation is to cause destruction and hurt simply because they find destruction and hurt enjoyable in themselves. They also understand that such people are rare, and that their threat modeling (which everyone does, even if they don't call it that) should rationally respond to such people by almost ignoring them—otherwise you find yourself not leaving your house for fear that there's a gunman on your block.
The motivations of people who want to actually get something out of you are quite different. They're not interested in destruction, because that would harm their target. They're usually interested in being undetectable. A social engineer will pretend to be locked out, ask meekly to be let in, and behave like a normal employee until they get what they need and leave normally. Defenses like "don't let people tailgate" work for those people. A gunman will just shoot you, break the door, ignore the alarm, and keep shooting until the cops kill them.
Similarly, someone who's trying to attack your business with a malicious USB drive will give you a USB drive that appears to be a normal one, that maybe pops up a terminal window very briefly and then disappears. You likely won't notice that you made a mistake, and you'll probably see an actual drive pop up on screen. Someone who's trying to attack your business will generally not give you a USB drive that destroys your computer immediately. (For most businesses, computers are not worth much compared to the secrecy of the data they contain, anyway, which is why full-disk encryption is a reasonable defense; it assumes that a computer might be lost and that this is recoverable.)
So a good security training program should say "These are ways where people might try to subtly break in to gain access that you might not have thought of before," not "Sadistic sociopaths exist, wear plate armor at all time."
Nothing like some high-consequences IRL training!
Perhaps curricula for the Inspector Clouseau police academy?
Hardware designers might want one to test out their mitigation circuit but once your design, why do you need a USBkill anymore?
This thing just seems like a destructive version of those annoyance toys like a TV-B-Gone.
> During the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, an individual associated with Gizmodo brought a TV-B-Gone remote control and shut off many display monitors at booths and during demos affecting several companies. These actions caused the individual to be banned for life from future CES events.
foreach offcode in list_of_offcodes:
Exactly. That device has nothing to do with police or testing. The politically correct name is a way to avoid filters or to claim ignorance in case some customers do nasty thing with them. Not different from cellphone/gps jammers sold under the "signal/field generator" name.
"Even if it was their own device that they were retiring, it doesn't even wipe data, it just destroys the logic/motherboard."
And it's even very bad at it: most computers have internal usb hubs that would act as a (weak but sometimes successful) defense against these devices.
Likewise, the USBKill suppliers had shown confirmed clients from all large SV companies, and all major hardware manufacturers.
It definitely is a malicious device in the hands of someone malicious, no doubt... But it most definitely serves a purpose to government and LEA apparently ..
"I wouldn't be so sure." is not the right test to pick. Yes it might destroy the SSD, but more likely just burns out something on the motherboard.
When you are picking an emergency destruction method your test should be: "I'm reasonably certain that this irreparably destroys the data"
To elaborate: surge/ESD protection components work on the basis of thermally dissipating incoming energy that exceeds voltage threshold. They're specifically designed to clamp single, short, high-energy pulses - not repeated pulses or constant voltage. A TVS or MOV will overheat & explode if you subject it to DC higher than its breakdown voltage, or if you subject it to repetitive load - they're simply not designed & rated for that because it's not what happens in the real world. You just don't get repetitive lightning strikes or repetitive ESD discharges in real life, and they don't protect against that.
TL;DR: With enough voltage & current you can fry anything and that's what the device does.
>Does not require batteries, can be be used an unlimited number of times.
So how does it work? How can it recharge all those capacitors?
I wonder if he was worked up about student loan debt.
(Assuming the Dell/HP/etc. workstations they bought even take standard size motherboards. I've seen some that don't.)
I hope he gets the full 10 years. Nothing like the US Penitentiary System to teach you a lesson.
Ten years for vandalism? That's injustice.
You don't even know why he did it. Perhaps he was just an idiot, perhaps he had a legitimate grievance that he didn't know how to "rectify" otherwise.
> Nothing like the US Penitentiary System to teach you a lesson.
Oh really? Then why does the US system have one of the highest rates of recidivism in the world? Why does the US have the highest incarceration rate in the world, perhaps with the exception of North Korea?
Considering he filmed it, this is the most likely explanation anyway; you should ruin someone life over that? Make him pay 200k in fines and that’s it; jail time is insane for this imho.
Would you pay a 200k fine for your child?
What is this guess based on?
You are demanding blood and to trade off a huge chunk of human life for the silly piece of machinery (which he gonna pay fore anyway), are you feeling well, my friend?
But instead the 59 incidents make this a willful act of vandalism.
Or to use a more apt metaphor, he zapped his future into smoke.
Edit; me and my friends did dumb things when young, not quite this dumb, but enough, if tried as adult, for prison time in the US possibly and caning+prison in for instance Singapore ; what exactly would that have done? We are all highly successful tax payers and it was foolishness that occured once or twice, 30 years ago.
The bicyles must be registered in Tokyo if I remember correctly.
Also, they have unmanned selling stalls, usually in the countryside, where farmers sell fruits and vegetables 
Just a box of fruit/eggs/unwanted gifts and a box for cash and a sign saying '£1 per item'. At the end of the day the owner takes the cash.
Only happens in the country though, and even there sometimes people take goods while 'forgetting' to pay.
Seems that depends on where you look but it's at least on par or below, so point taken.
In Singapore it seems to work well as well. But I always assumed because it is so tiny they will always get you and you will get punished.
It is interesting to learn more and it is a difficult issue which probably is partly unsolvable, I show one perspective, but that might not work elsewhere. I just do not see the damaging a young person from taking part in society forever is a good plan, at all, for small infractions without bodily harm.
> and the subsequent social downgrade.
By no means I claim to know much about Japan but from what I know from reading/watching a lot about it I would wager it's more this than the punishment... But it would need research I guess to figure out why the differences.
If you care to check, the U.S. is not an outlier when it comes to general crime rates. Your entire rant is based on ideological phobia and invented premises.
So what's the point then? Apparently the way it works now is not working and yes, that sounds awful, but what is being done about it if harsher punishment does not work? Even harsher punishment is what I am hearing 'on the other side of the pond'. When I had a restaurant in my village I got Americans all the time crying about what a pussy Obama was being soft on crime; most we got in were for the dead penalty and long prison time for even small infractions, against drugs wholesale (but not alcohol, one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs ofcourse!). Apparently they felt your pain as well, but the resolution seems akward; you would think better educatoin/rehabilitation instead of harsher punishment would be a more productive way of trying?
Ofcourse the issue is very difficult ; there are just really bad people out there and I do not think anyone has a solution for those. I am sorry to hear you seem to have 'many of them'; yet again, that makes me think there is something wrong that can be fixed if this is not the same in other places (other side of the pond...).
What my kids thought me is that you must be patient. Always. You cant tell something once, and expect it to work instantly. It's easier to just slap annoying kid if he misbehaves, but he will just start to fear you, and it will not add to his understanding on the right way to behave.
For you it might look that it have worked because he will try to avoid you, but in his head there will be totally different understanding compared to what could have been if you talked to him constantly about "the tight way" of behaving.
Why wouldn't the Netherlands or Japan have as many "malignant individuals" at young ages?
Thank you for writing this.
The real question is: Why is the school system + culture producing such a bumper crop of sociopaths?
Is the belief that erasing problem people is a real solution to systemic and structural violence the root of the problem?
Yes, he might; or he might go through life wantonly destroying other people's property whenever he feels he has a grievance, as there don't seem to be any serious consequences for doing so.
It's a hard question, and individuals vary so much (circumstances, motivations, character, ...) that generalised answers will often be wrong. But a justice system needs rules and standards of some kind.
Sure, but having to get a job (he has an MBA so he was planning to) and having the tax office take 70% of his wages until paid off (or allow him to pay off faster if he can) is not a light punishment while it does bring back some productivity. Jail time or over the top crazy punishments doesn't seem to help either and only costs society money. And then more money because the individual will most likely never recover after having spent some of his most productive years behind bars.
The sore point here is ofcourse that he is on a student Visa in which case I think the punishment of giving him a criminal record and sending him back to India is harsh punishment in itself.
If the damages included the cost of the investigation, the impact of being without computers for months, etc. then the school wouldn't mind the incident happening again and again.
Prison certainly didn't seem to deter this guy, nor does the death penalty deter murderers.
price to incarcerate him for 10 years : 310K
We made our own etherkiller, hung it on the wall with a sign "USE IN CASE OF SUN".
Never used it in anger, but it was fun to dream about...
What does it mean?
The machines were badly laid out, poorly specced, and prone to annoying failures.
They deserved, but did not receive, mains power right to the ethernet port.
The custom 8-bit computer was fine though.
Hmm... something smells hot... touch touch touch sound of screaming
Fifty years ago the idea of doing something ilegal whereas filming yourself smiling to your own camera, would tag you as martian. Currently all is like: look at me; I'm badass!! I'm a malote!! I want to rub shoulders with the bad guys!!. Hem... Nope, you are an idiot.
to cut data lines altogether IIRC
I guess we need a new kind of condom with all lines protected for surges
ps: there are also these https://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/CN/usb+isolation+modul...
Never understood why people film their own crimes?
That is crazy. He is obviously not completely 100% in the head and needs psychological help not imprisonment.
a while: http://web.archive.org/web/20190419041118/https://m.facebook...
Also any battery on your device is also a potential fire hazard. There are procedures in place to deal with such cases.
Also, isn't ten years too much for just destroying a property? It's not like anyone got hurt.
The (unspoken) point is to send a message of deterrence. Be a thorn in the side of important institutions and they will screw you hard.
> "I'm going to kill this guy," "it's dead," and "it's gone. Boom," Akuthota said on recordings obtained by the prosecution.