Who would have thought that you could light up pyrotechnics on USB power? This USB keystroke injector that blows up after it’s used proves the concept.
Fully aware that this is one of those “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” projects, [MG] takes pains to point out that his danger dongle is just for dramatic effect, like a prop for a movie or the stage. In fact, he purposely withholds details on the pyrotechnics and concentrates on the keystroke injection aspect, potentially nasty enough by itself, as well as the dongle’s universal payload launching features. We’re a little bummed, because the confetti explosion (spoiler!) was pretty neat.
The device is just an ATtiny85 and a few passives stuffed into an old USB drive shell, along with a MOSFET to trigger the payload. If you eschew the explosives, the payload could be anything that will fit in the case. [MG] suggests that if you want to prank someone, an obnoxious siren might be a better way to teach your mark a lesson about plugging in strange USB drives.
While this isn’t the most dangerous thing you can do with a USB port, it could be right up there with that rash of USB killer dongles from a year or so ago. All of these devices are fun “what ifs”, but using them on anything but your own computers is not cool and possibly dangerous. Watching the smoke pour out of a USB socket definitely drives home the point that you shouldn’t plug in that thumbdrive that you found in the bathroom at work, though.
[Yuu], thanks for the tip.
35 thoughts on “This USB Drive Will Self-Destruct After Ruining Your Computer”
Hoped for a USBKiller, was disappointed.
Replace harmless pyrotechnics with a miniature detonator and fill the thing with high explosives…it’ll take out a lot more then just the USB port :P
.. may take out your neighbor’s USB ports as well.
Probably would ADD one into his PC (or into the neighbour himself…) instead of taking it…
or some kind of corrosive
Hopped for a moon on a stick, was disappointed.
it could be made of metal to be electrified so one wouldn’t be able to just pull out
I’m wondering how much of a zap one of those could contain though.
How small are supercaps these days? If you remove the flash chip and just have a charge circuit and cap(s) in the shell you could probably collect enough juice to numb some fingers.
Or put one of those postage stamp sized flash drives in a thumb drive shell along with the previously mentioned circuits.
Small amounts of thermite spread around the plug so it will weld together with the receptor? Could be hard to ignite though.
A satchel of superglue oozing into the socket would render it non-removeable.
The pressure for releasing the superglue can come from heating a small amount of volatile liquid.
Why trigger a glue release with the micro? Have a physical superglue release IN the USB plug so that it bursts when the plug is inserted. That way, it immediately starts bonding to whatever plug it’s inserted into while the target is still waiting for it to “boot”.
Not a bad idea… Reduces the chance for it to be removed before being fully set. Don’t know how it would work though.
You have to make sure it actually loads up in the computer, or else it’s just a slight nuisance. People may plug it into anything.
low temperature solder blobs used as the usb mating pins.
The volatile liquid could be the CA adhesive itself – it outgasses nicely under certain conditions. Also don’t forget that, for laptops, the USB ports aren’t physically isolated in a significant way from the rest of the computer so the port becomes a spray head.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to weld with thermite on a small scale…
Cyanoacrylate based glue would probably be a better idea ;-)
Yes that sounds like a better choice. Easier to handle and test too! :)
Mix gunpowder/thermite into the PLA for the case?
Pure nitrocellulose itself can be used to make the case and it burns very well…heck, it can even be detonated.
Fun fact: Ping pong balls are made of nitrocellulose.
Keep a pair of rubber-tipped plastic tongs handy for those electrified USB dongles…
It would be difficult to fit the hardware required to boost +5v from USB to something heady enough to actually shock you though. But that’s where the fun lies. Any takers?
Disposable cámeras flash circuit is small enough to fit into an usb drive, and it gives a good zap if you touch where you shouldn’t.
That was cool! Really!
“Good Morning Mr. Phelps,
The man you are viewing on the screen is…
[bla, bla, blah…]
Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to stop this man from carrying out his plans, and put an end to his organization.
This laptop will self-destruct in 5 seconds…”
Unfortunately the warranty expired just before this and everything was lost.
This would be great, fill the stick with black powder, and once the video is done playing it triggers the hot wire and explodes
New entry for the copper based thermite coin cell challenge?
Its a good thing most of use are good people.
In my army days I was a bomb expert. Not a nice job.
I am glad It was a long time ago. I really would hate to be one today.
It would be so much more scarier today.
I love the effects that you added with the smoke and the firecracker.
Even with USB sticks with small firecrackers in them would send the world into a whirlwind of a storm.
We all are a bunch of walking MacGyvers. Feel the earth tremble.
I can think of many ways one could trigger this effect, the least of which is with ematch.
That might leave a nasty trail to your doorstep.
You might be able to just take a vape thingy apart for an effective set of parts to blow up an USB stick
Or a gas lighter actually, bit of propane in a small space should work right?
Pity it’s too late for the coin-cell challenge I guess
Set this up to access control real data with password protection and if an unauthorized user attempts to brute force it ….. poof!
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