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

I’d also like to see the schematic. I make a tiny 3V to 200V converter for my Nixie watches, but it uses a flyback transformer and a tripler.
It’s rather difficult to make such a boost supply using only an inductor, since the gate of any MOSFET that can handle the 200V drain voltage pulse is not likely to be switched on cleanly by the measly 5V available on USB.


Yeah – just looking at it I can’t imagine it’s a clean signal by any stretch (and I doubt this was a factor in the design). I definitely don’t feel like spending ~$60 just to hook it up to a scope and see what it’s doing.

I did find some much higher quality pics from their press kit (if Discourse munges them, click to get high res version). It looks like the most of the part numbers are deliberately obscured but you can clearly see many of the traces.

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What would be the point when you can just use your USB KILLER TESTER KILLER TESTER?


Can someone explain this to me like I’m not a tech?

I can see that it will fry the electronics, but is there purpose beyond that? I’m assuming it doesn’t wipe the hard drive…it’s just supposed to disable, plain and simple?

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It’s a capacitor bank.

A capacitor is like a battery, but instead of storing electricity as charges separated as two “tanks” of electrons and “holes” like a battery, it stores charge as static electricity on a very thin film separated from itself by a very strong insulator.

The purpose? I don’t know. Beyond killing stuff, I guess it’s fun to have a “weapon”? But yeah, it’s like a camera flash charged by the USB power source until it reaches maximum capacity then discharges.


I see.
At first, I was thinking…hey, a quick way to destroy information if “they” are about to bust down the door, but it sounds like your hard drive is still formatted. You just can’t get it to work.

Depending on the quality of the hardware involved it could do little to no damage on a well protected system. Or do lots of damage, perhaps completely frying something cheap and poorly put together. But I’d expect I’d usually just fry the motherboard, leaving most other components intact for the most part.

In the case of spinning platter media, I’m guessing that it’d at worst fry the HDD’s motor. Which is inconvenient but by no means catastrophic.

ETA: I’m a helpdesk technician. So my knowledge is limited, but I’ve replaced one or two (literally, like two, not a bunch) of HDD motors. It’s not easy, and you have to observe the utmost clean handling rules, but besides that, if you can get the HDD apart cleanly and put in a new motor, the drive is likely fine, at least for a while.


I hear they’re working on a wireless one for Apple devices though.

ETA: Apple reveals iPhone 7 headphones to be inserted anally


They figured out wireless charging a few years back.


I’m gonna need you to put those AirPods waaaaaaaay up your butt, Morty.


How do you know they’re not already built into every USB device?


LOL, Buttplug speaker.

It’s unlikely to do much more than fry the USB controller. The thing is that most USB controllers are integrated into the southbridge chip on the motherboard and that controls most peripherals and the BIOS. Fry the southbridge and you render the motherboard largely useless. It’s highly unlikely that it would make its way through the southbridge to the northbridge across the PCI bus to a hard drive controller to a hard drive to fry it. There’s just too many tiny wires along the way that almost certainly fuse out.

Basically this is a mischief tool marketed as a “tester”.


If it’s powered by using the USB power and supplies it’s output voltage down the data path it could be nasty for the computer in question, but since the data signals are very low current anyway if there is a series resistance and just a simple voltage clamp or even a zener diode would be capable of reducing any high voltage that any tripler circuit or DC/AC converter of that size cos it couldn’t produce much current without melting in the process.

Might be worse if it were designed so you have to open it like the cruzer edge and in so doing charged a capacitor from a piezo electric crystal, like in a cigarette lighter and more like a static discharge.

nice idea, poor execution. Something’s wrong with how the Apple logo’s placed. Also, that gradient looks rather less than smooth. Are you using the right fonts?

It’s not mine.

The holes around the “subwoofer” are a bigger problem. How would you clean it?


Maybe it uses the same ejection system that the new Apple Watch Series 2 has to get water out of the speaker.

I thought the use case for these was hoping that they got seized by the TSA/CBP…

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