Imagine the following situation. You are on public transport and come across a pendrive with a sticker that has the following message: free to copy and repost. Would you take it home and plug it into your PC to see what the content is? This situation happened to a Reddit user and he decided to take a chance.

Found this in the train
byu/BagarDoge incomputers

According to his report on the platform, he found this flash drive on the train and was hesitant to take the storage unit home. He thought of countless situations. Recipe to be a tracker or even a pendrive to distribute viruses.

In the comments on the post, they even mentioned that it could be a fake pendrive, one of those classified as USB Killer, a DC/DC converter disguised as a simple pendrive and which could damage the device to which it was connected.. In 2015, a Russian researcher known as Dark Purple explained how this works:

When connecting it to the computer’s USB port, the USB Killer uses an inverted DC/DC converter. This converter transforms the direct current (DC) input voltage into a direct current output voltage, but with much higher values. In the case of the USB Killer, it converts the 5V voltage from the USB port to -110V (or -220V in the second version).

The DC/DC converter charges the USB Killer’s internal capacitors until they reach a voltage of -110V (or -220V). When reaching the maximum voltage, the converter is turned off, and, at the same time, a transistor is opened that discharges the voltage to the USB port. The USB port and the circuitry connected to it are not designed to handle these high voltages, which can cause overload and damage the port.

So, what was on the pendrive?

Although the initial fear raised several possibilities, when plugging the pendrive into the PC – disconnected from the internet – the user found two folders. Included are audiobooks from the Bible and videos. The History folder contained an audiobook of the New and Old Testament Bibles, as well as a text version. In the videos folder, there are several clips that focus on miracles.

The revelation disappointed some in the post, who expected something more impactful, perhaps they were even hoping that something unfortunate had happened to the curious person.

However, although there is nothing serious apparent, this does not guarantee absolute certainty from the point of view of digital security. Some malware can target directly the USB controller firmware and end up passing through security software unharmed.

But, it seems, the outcome of the story was actually a common pendrive that someone used to repost religious content.


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