Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Scary James Bond-style USB flash drive can instantly kill any computer

Published Oct 15th, 2015 3:33PM EDT

The following USB flash drive isn’t just an extremely imaginative tech weapon worthy of James Bond. We’re looking at an actual killer USB stick that will forcefully turn off the PC the moment it’s inserted into a USB port – and yes, it does look just like your average memory stick you’d pass around the office.

DON’T MISS: Adobe confirms major Flash vulnerability, and the only way to protect yourself is to uninstall Flas

Developed by a researcher called Dark Purple, the killer USB stick doesn’t pack powerful malware capable of destroying the operating system of a computer. Instead, the USB stick delivers a negative 220-volt electric surge into the USB port, Ars Technica explains, which is enough to fry the internal components.

The video below shows the killer USB in action. Everything happens rather quickly and an affected user might not even realize what’s going on, at least at first.

This is apparently the second version of the stick, or USB Killer 2.0. The first one was a less powerful device that drew power from USB ports using a DC-to-DC converter until it reached a negative 100 volts. At that point, the power was fed into the computer, and the entire process ran on a loop until the internal circuitry failed.

While the USB Killer would deliver permanent damage to a computer, regardless of operating system or protection, it’s not clear what kind of damage it’ll do to the data-storing hard drives.

The scary video showing USB Killer 2.0 in action follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.