Self-destructing thumb drives with smoke loads, glowing elements, tiny explosives

MG's Mr Self Destruct project takes the USB Killer to new levels, combining a $1.50 system-on-a-chip with a variety of payloads: smoke bombs, "sound grenades," and little explosives, cleverly choreographed with keystroke emulation, allowing the poisoned drive to first cause the connected computer to foreground a browser and load a web-page that plays an appropriate animation (a jack-in-the-box that plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" with the drive's explosive detonating for the climax). Read the rest

Teardown of a consumer voice/location cellular spying device that fits in the tip of a USB cable

Mich from ha.cking bought a $25 "S8 data line locator" device -- a cellular spying tool, disguised as a USB cable and marketed to the general public -- and did a teardown of the gadget, offering a glimpse into the world of "trickle down surveillance" where the kinds of surveillance tools used by the NSA are turned into products and sold to randos over the internet for $25. Read the rest

USG: an open source anti-BadUSB hardware firewall for your USB port

BadUSB is bad news: malware that targets the firmware in your USB port's embedded system, bypassing the OS, antivirus software and other countermeasures. Read the rest

Beyond Bad USB: Poisontap takes over your sleeping computer with a $5 USB stick

Prolific and dramatic security researcher Samy Kamkar (previously) has unveiled a terrifying device that reveals the devastating vulnerabilities of computers, even when in sleep mode. Read the rest

The $56 USB Killer is an electrified USB stick that will fry a laptop

For €49.95, you can own a "USB Killer" that "instantly and permanently disables unprotected hardware" with a 200V DC shock. The €13.95 USB KILLER TESTER is a shield that blocks the killer from actually delivering its voltage to your machine (buy the tester, get the killer for half price). (via Schneier) Read the rest

Usbdriveby: horrifying proof-of-concept USB attack

Samy Kamkar has a proof-of-concept attack through which he plugs a small USB stick into an unlocked Mac OS X machine and then quickly and thoroughly compromises the machine, giving him total, stealthy control over the system in seconds, even reprogramming the built-in firewall to blind it to its actions. Read the rest

E-cigs and malware: real threat or Yellow Peril 2.0?

After a redditor claimed to have gotten a computer virus from factory-installed malware on an e-cig charger, the Guardian reported out the story and concluded that it's possible. Read the rest