There's something so satisfying about the killer usb drive:

220 volts straight to the motherboard of an unsuspecting laptop or desktop just sounds delightful.

But I want more. I want to be able to fry other devices that might not have normal USB ports. So what about MicroUSB? Can the same attack be used against devices with MicroUSB charging ports such as Android phones, or is there hardware to prevent this?


Apparently there are some individuals who are perturbed by my word choice. I would never take delight in the willful, unauthorized destruction of other people's property. Although I suppose I should describe what I mean when I say that the laptops and desktops are unsuspecting.

You see, I find life to be dreadfully dull sometimes. When I'm not censoring my own questions to appeal to someone's ethereal concept of ethics within the hacker community, I like to pass the time by playing "flash drive roulette" with by devices. I have an expansive collection of various unmarked and generic flash drives, with which I store and transfer files. The large majority (about 42%) are normal drives. The remaining drives are actually high voltage capacitors which destroy my machines, and in doing so, help me live a happier and fuller life without being tied down with material possessions.

  • I would not describe destroying other people's property as "delightful", you might want to edit your question... – Hawkings Jun 1 '17 at 21:18
  • I never claimed to enjoy destroying other people's property. – user132557 Jun 1 '17 at 21:22
  • Well, if it's your own property it's probably not "unsuspecting" – Hawkings Jun 1 '17 at 21:23
  • Ah, my apologies. Allow me to edit the question. – user132557 Jun 1 '17 at 21:26
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    If you have an odd obsession with destroying devices, I am sure you could try to build your own Killer microUSB drive. Haven't done this before, but you'd prob need a tiny micro controller, a 220v capacitor, and something to power up the capacitor before use? Release the charged up capacitor through the cables to a microUSB plug and I'm sure you'll do some damage! – SecretSasquatch Jun 1 '17 at 21:48

Short-answer: The maker of USB-Killer sells a conversion kit that allows you to change out the USB Type A connector with several other kinds of connectors, including USB micro.

Really there's no reason why such a device wouldn't be easily made. USB Micro-A and USB Type A connectors have almost the same pinouts, with just an extra pin for On-The-Go device identification, which is either floating or connected to ground. Therefore the underlying implementations should be similar at the hardware level.

USB-C is more interesting so I'll mention it here. In part thanks to non-standard cables destroying devices, USB-C has some additional authentication being added on top of the resistor-based indication of amperage capacity. This authentication can even require an encrypted certificate check to make sure the device is certified to be safe. This seems like a great way to prevent a USB-killer device, but from my research the USB-killer can spoof this protocol. I can't find any information on the details but the maker claims the adaptor will "bypass against the newest USB standard." and that "USB-C devices can also use authentication, but with the USBKill.com USB-C adaptor, you can test against a large variety of devices."

As with everything else on this site, I trust you'll use this information responsibly and any unsolicited uses of the USB-Killer on any device is awful, cruel, and illegal.

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