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Think All USB Ports Are Safe? Think Again!

For most hackers, the idea of hacking someone’s device is to obtain confidential personal information for fraudulent use. For others, it is just to take joy in destroying other people’s property. These types of hacks may be far and few between, but they are out there. This newest threat delivers crippling effects that could be costly to you and your business.

USB Drive

In this case, the hack stems from a USB device, and by definition, it is not a virus as it does not load any malicious software onto your computer. However, once you plug this USB drive into your machine, it is all over.

You will not have time to do anything, after plugging in this type of USB drive to avoid the irreparable damage that it causes. Defending against it with an anti-virus, or disabling your USB drives from automatically running is also out of the window too. Leaving you with, unfortunately, a computer that is fried and useless to use.

How does it work?

First of all, this little gadget is not limited to just computers, any electronic device with a USB port can fall victim to its damage. Secondly, the USB, unfortunately, doesn’t come with any warning lights or sirens; it looks just like your standard USB port.

This killer USB drive works by sucking up an electrical charge from your computer (or any device with a USB port). Then stores it in capacitors until it hits 220 volts. The USB drive proceeds to blast those volts back into your machine, resulting in a power surge that repeats until it has completely fried your motherboard.

The only saving grace to this nightmare hack is that it should only affect the motherboard, your hard drive should not be damaged or lose any data as a result. This, however, does not change the fact that you now have an entirely useless device.

Watch this USB hack in action here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TidRpVWXBE

Keep Yourself Protected!

The best way to protect yourself from falling victim to this hack is by only using trusted USB drives (something you should already be doing). When you use an unknown USB drive, you are making yourself vulnerable to a variety of malicious viruses and malware. Be wary of accepting USB drives from strangers, or purchasing USB drives from unknown sources.

Your best bet is only to use USB drives that are purchased brand new in a sealed package; this will help to ensure that you are using a thumb drive that hasn’t been altered in any way. Remember, anyone can fall victim to a hack, and the only defense is practicing due diligence when adding any hardware or software to your device.

Are you confident that your employees are using industry best practices to keep your valuable data protected? Ensure that they do! Contact Onserve today at (877) 996-6622 or send an email to sales@onserve.ca.