Hackers have been actively pursuing ways to access our devices and obtain sensitive information for quite some time now, and we don’t always know how to prevent it.
A Russian security group known as “Dark Purple” recently released what appears, at first glance, to be a simple USB stick, but could actually be a way to protect a device against hackers.
The USB stick is anything but simple as it can instantly fry any machine it plugs into, including a laptop or TV, according to The Telegraph. But the device, and its memory, can usually be restored simply by replacing one part.
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The group demonstrated the USB stick’s capabilities via a video where the USB completely killed an IBM laptop within seconds.
The USB sends 220 volts through the signal lines of the USB interface, blowing the circuitry and destroying anything it is plugged into.
Other entrepreneurs have created a similar product and have started a crowdfunding project to pay for the production. They are selling it on Indiegogo for $99 as a way to prevent data theft. The sellers have called it “your last line of defense against unauthorized data access.”
The entrepreneur’s crowdfunding project does not appear to have any immediate connection with the Dark Purple project, according to The Telegraph.
In a blog post, Dark Purple explained that the USB can attack more than just computers. It can be used to destroy almost anything equipped with a USB drive, such as smartphones, TVs, routers, and modems.
Dark Purple said the goal is to test prototypes of “devices that perform only one function — the destruction of computers.”
But, while the attacked devices appear to be completely fried, the researchers claim that they can be restored with a new motherboard.
“It is extremely unlikely that the hard disk or the information on it was damaged,” a researcher wrote.
So, as a last-ditch effort, you may have to fry your device to protect your data, but your actual documents and information would likely remain retrievable.
Sure, it sounds like a desperate measure — but these are desperate times when it comes to identity theft.
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