Ex-student records himself using USB Killer to fry college computers

Malware isn’t the only toxin you can deliver to a computer via a USB key. Just ask Vishwanath Akuthota, who faces a potential ten-year stretch after frying at least 66 computers at his former college.

Akuthota originally pled not guilty to intentionally damaging a protected computer at the College of St. Rose, in Albany, New York. He then changed his plea, perhaps faced with evidence from Albany State Place, who investigated an incident there on 14 February 2019.

Harbouring an unspecified grudge, Akuthota entered multiple computer workrooms on campus and inserted a USB device into their USB ports.

A USB Killer isn’t your granddad’s USB thumb drive. It is an adapted device that can an entire computer. Instead of a flash memory chip, its innards contain capacitors and a DC-DC converter that alters the voltage level of a direct current. This is a deadly combination for your average USB port, along with anything attached to it.

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