Cyberspace is the battle-ground of the future, we have already seen cyber-weapons like Flame and Stuxnet. Imagine what can be the outcome if technology allows someone to burn down/explode your computer just like a bomb simply by getting you to plug-in a USB drive?
Well the possibility is now a reality, 'The Killer USB' is for real and has successfully being demonstrated to burn down a computer just by inserting it in the USB port as explained ahead.
According to the Russian researcher, nicknamed Dark Purple the concept works as explained below:
The basic idea of the USB drive is quite simple. When we connect it up to the USB port, an inverting DC/DC converter runs and charges capacitors to -110V. When the voltage is reached, the DC/DC is switched off. At the same time, the filed transistor opens. It is used to apply the -110V to signal lines of the USB interface. When the voltage on capacitors increases to -7V, the transistor closes and the DC/DC starts. The loop runs till everything possible is broken down. Those familiar with the electronics have already guessed why we use negative voltage here. I‘ll explain to others that negative voltage is easier to commutate, as we need the N-channel field resistor, which, unlike the P-channel one, can have larger current for the same dimensions.
The very first prototypes of this "USB killer pendrive" are able to effectively destroy sensitive components of a computer when plugged-in. Only time will tell what this discovery can lead upon to in future.